OSCE: So-called elections not in line with Minsk Protocol, says OSCE Chair, calling for enhanced efforts and dialogue to implement all commitments [October 31, 2014]
Bern, October 31, 2014—Swiss Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Didier Burkhalter, reminded all parties that the Minsk Protocol and the Memorandum of September 5 and 19 respectively should continue to serve as the relevant framework and reference point for steps towards de-escalation of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. He noted that some progress was made in the implementation of the arrangements, particularly with regard to cease-fire and its monitoring, efforts towards decentralization and the liberation of detainees, which led to a decrease in violence.
However, numerous points of the arrangements were still awaiting full implementation, Burkhalter said. In the course of meetings of the Trilateral Contact Group in the last three days, his Special Representative, Ambassador Heidi Tagliavini, had pointed out that more efforts were urgently needed in order to fully implement all provisions of the Minsk documents, including those aimed at making the declared cease-fire more sustainable, securing the Ukrainian-Russian border and the release of all detainees as well as the economic rehabilitation of the conflict zone, Burkhalter remarked.
Burkhalter stressed that the Minsk Protocol foresees the holding of early local elections in accordance with Ukrainian law in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces. This was in response to calls for greater decentralization and was supposed to create conditions for a cooperative effort to bring back peace and stability to the war-torn parts of eastern Ukraine. Referring to the repeated reports on intentions of the self-proclaimed entities of Donetsk and Luhansk to hold so-called elections outside the framework set by the Ukrainian law, he noted that such action runs counter to the letter and spirit of the Minsk Protocol and would further complicate its implementation.
The CiO regretted that attempts of the Trilateral Contact Group to raise and discuss these issues in a video-conference with the representatives of the self-proclaimed entities of Donetsk and Luhansk, scheduled for the afternoon of 31 October 2014, were not successful due to the non-attendance of the representatives of the self-proclaimed entities. He concluded by underlining that full and unconditional implementation of the Minsk Protocol and the Memorandum remains essential to advance political stabilization and to establish broad support for the economic rehabilitation of the conflict zone.
President of Ukraine: Pseudo-elections in parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions endanger the peace process (02.11.2014)
The so-called elections in the occupied districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions have nothing in common with people’s expression of the will and brutally violate Minsk agreements, as stated by President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.
President Poroshenko claims that “farce at a gunpoint organized by the two terrorist organizations in parts of the Donbas is a terrible event that has nothing in common with the real expression of the people’s will.”
Ukraine alongside the entire civilized world do not recognize this farce. “The international community, including many states and organizations, has already condemned these so-called elections. I expect that Russia condemns them as well, since it is a brutal violation of Minsk protocol of September 5 also signed by the representative of Russia,” noted the Head of State.
Petro Poroshenko also stated that “all elections on the Ukrainian territory, in which the Ukrainian citizens vote, should be held solely under the legislation of Ukraine”.
The President stressed that Minsk protocol provides for holding of early local elections in certain districts of the Donbas solely under the laws of Ukraine. Otherwise, gross violation of international agreements will jeopardize the peace process and Ukraine will adequately respond to this challenge.
At the same time, the President of Ukraine expressed gratitude to the people of the Donbas who had come out to the streets of Mariupol and other cities to support the unity of Ukraine.
Quelle: Press office of President, <http://president.gov.ua/en/news/31532.html>
Russian Foreign Ministry statement on the implementation of the Minsk agreements on a settlement in Ukraine and elections in its southeastern regions (29.10.2014)
Considering the ultimatum issued by Kiev and some Western capitals that elections not be held in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, it would be logical to remind the following.
In accordance with the Minsk agreements reached in September this year by representatives of the President of Ukraine and the self-defence forces of southeastern Ukraine with the mediation of Russia and the OSCE, these elections can be held between 19 October and 3 November of this year. The argument that the law on a special self-government procedure for these regions, which Petr Poroshenko signed on 16 October, has set 7 December as the election date contradicts the Minsk agreements. This date, 7 December, was added to the law arbitrarily and unilaterally, without consulting the self-defence forces.
Moreover, this law cannot be applied in practice because it does not identify the area it applies to. The issue of identification has been suspended pending an additional decision by the Verkhovna Rada, which cannot be taken because Kiev has withdrawn its signature from the document that set out the disengagement line between the Ukrainian and the self-defence forces. The situation has been further complicated by the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s refusal to implement the 16 October law signed by Petr Poroshenko.
Kiev has also violated other provisions of the Minsk agreements. It continues to bomb the regions controlled by the self-defence forces contrary to the ceasefire terms. It has not adopted, contrary to its pledge, acts on amnesty and security guarantees for the representatives of the self-defence forces that attended the Minsk talks. It has not honoured the provisions on the decentralisation of authority and continuation of a nationwide dialogue. The Kiev government is not fulfilling its commitment to improve the humanitarian situation in Donbass and is creating artificial obstacles to the delivery of humanitarian aid from Russia.
The Minsk agreements also stipulate the adoption of an economic revival programme for Donbass. But politicians in Kiev said after the parliamentary election [on 26 October] that this assistance would be provided only to those regions in southeastern Ukraine that accept Kiev’s authority, which directly contradicts the letter and spirit of the Minsk Protocol.
Overall, it appears that our partners’ arguments against the 2 November elections are designed to delay them as long as possible, probably in the hope that the problems in the region would grow with the coming winter and hence influence voter mood and the turnout.
In this situation, the self-defence forces’ intention to hold the elections on 2 November is completely legitimate and fully in keeping with the temporal parameters coordinated in Minsk. Adequate authorities must be created without delay in southeastern Ukraine, so that they can address the critically important issues of the regions’ vital needs, including law and order.
Efforts to bring about a settlement in southeastern Ukraine are being taken in an extremely difficult and even conflicting situation. The main task now is to do everything necessary to maintain the fragile truce and to begin the region’s economic and humanitarian revival and sustained political dialogue. Attempts to select one of the interconnected provisions of the Minsk agreements—the election date—without good reason or even in the form of an ultimatum, and to use it to judge the sides’ “behaviour” could derail the peace process and make it a hostage to geopolitical ambitions. We cannot rule out that those who advance these ultimatums want to destroy the Minsk agreements, just as they destroyed the agreement of 21 February 2014, and to gain a pretext for resuming the hostilities in southeastern Ukraine.
Russia strongly urges the sides to prevent this and instead to provide general assistance to turn the 2 November elections into another step towards normalisation and comprehensive settlement of the crisis in Ukraine.
We would like to remind everyone that before the meeting in Minsk the leaders of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics publicly put forth their negotiating stands, which stipulated, in part, that free elections held in these regions based on the principles of self-government would create conditions for a cooperative effort to keep Ukraine united economically, culturally and politically.
Russia will encourage the election winners in southeastern Ukraine to act towards this proclaimed goal. We also expect the Kiev authorities and their Western partners, as well as the OSCE, to act faithfully to fulfil the Minsk agreements. The 2 November elections can be used not to recklessly foster tensions without good reason, but to nudge the situation towards a constructive path of dialogue based on mutual respect and the search for compromise on the basis of a balance of the sides’ legitimate interests, as is stipulated in the documents signed within the framework of the Minsk process.
Pressekonferenz des stellvertretenden Ministerpräsidenten der Donezker Volksrepublik (3.11.2014, inoffizielle Übersetzung)
Purgin: Annullierung der Wahlen in der DNR [Donezker Volksrepublik] ist unmöglich
Eine Annullierung der Wahlergebnisse in der DNR, wie sie Petro Poroschenko vorschlägt, ist nicht möglich und außerdem auch nicht erforderlich, erklärte der stellvertretende Ministerpräsident der DNR Andrei Purgin den Journalisten.
»Die Wahlen haben stattgefunden, mit einer hohen Beteiligung – unsere Wähler haben Stunden in der Kälte gewartet, um an ihnen teilzunehmen. Internationale Beobachter erklären, dass die Wahlen ehrlich und nach hohen Standards durchgeführt wurden. Dementsprechend gibt es überhaupt keinen Grund ihre Ergebnisse zu annullieren«, findet der stellvertretende Ministerpräsident der DNR Andrei Purgin.
Er erinnerte daran, dass für Dienstag die Amtseinführung von Aleksandr Zakharchenko, dem Wahlsieger, als Oberhaupt der Republik angesetzt ist. Purgin selber stand auf Platz 3 der Parteiliste der »Donezker Volksrepublik«, die etwa 65 % der Stimmen erhalten hat.
Außerdem, so Purgin, »widersprechen die Wahlen vom 2. November nicht der von Kiew angeführten Minsker Vereinbarung«. »Sie fanden innerhalb des Zeitraums statt, der von der Minsker Vereinbarung vorgesehen ist, und dabei wird in der Vereinbarung nirgends davon gesprochen, dass sie nach den von Kiew aufgestellten Regeln stattfinden sollen.«
»Wir halten uns an die Vereinbarung, die Kiewer Seite allerdings hält sich praktisch an keinen Punkt«, findet Purgin.
Was das Gesetz über den besonderen Status des Donbass betrifft, so erinnerte Purgin daran, dass im Gesetz nicht festgeschrieben ist, welche Kommunen es betrifft. »Geht es um Donezk und Gorlovka, oder, zum Beispiel, um Krasnoarmeisk und Luhansk – es bleibt nur zu raten«, bemerkte der stellvertretende Ministerpräsident der DNR ironisierend.
»Wir sind bereit zu wirtschaftlichen, kulturellen Kontakten mit Kiew, bereit zu weiteren Verhandlungen, aber von einer politischen Allianz kann keine Rede sein. Kiew hat zu viel Blut friedlicher Bürger vergossen«, bemerkte er als einer der Anführer der DNR. Er ist überzeugt, dass die Wahlen vom 2. November den Friedensprozess nicht bedrohen, sondern ihn im Gegenteil fördern werden.
»DNR und LNR werden jetzt in den Verhandlungen mit Kiew von legitimen Regierungen vertreten werden, denen die Wähler in den Wahlen ihr Vertrauen bestätigt haben«, findet Purgin.