President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky said that elections in territories not controlled by Kiev in the Donbass can take place only after negotiations in the Norman format, that is, between representatives of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France.
“I can comment on the information about the possibility of elections in the occupied territories only after we agree in the Norman format, because this is part of the Minsk agreements. Therefore, speaking prematurely. We can only have a theoretical dialogue. The conditions are all spelled out in the Minsk agreements, ”Zelensky said.
According to him, it is also necessary to make an exchange of people and the withdrawal of troops, first in Zolotoy and Petrovsky, and then along the entire contact line with a length of about 400 km.
“And only after that we can talk about the format of the elections ... If we believe that Donbass is Ukraine, then local elections there should be held according to Ukrainian law,” the President of Ukraine emphasized.
- © Sergii Kharchenko / ZUMAPRESS.com
Foreign Minister of Ukraine Vadim Pristayko, for his part, said that Kiev plans to hold local elections, including in the Donbass, until 2020.
“We are not going to hold many, many fake elections that were already on that territory,” Pristayko said, referring to the previous elections in the self-proclaimed republics of the DPR and LPR.
Recall that on November 11, 2018, elections of the heads of republics and deputies of parliaments were held in territories not controlled by Kiev in the Donbass. According to their results, Denis Pushilin became the interim head of the DPR. Leonid Pasechnik was elected to the same post in the LPR. The election was attended by foreign observers and media representatives. The turnout was above 75%, there were no serious violations. However, Kiev did not recognize the election results.
The political scientist Ivan Mezyukho, in an interview with RT, noted that Zelensky requires the fulfillment of certain conditions, while he himself is not ready to fulfill them.
“The position expressed by Vladimir Zelensky is not much different from the words of his predecessor Petro Poroshenko. Unfortunately, Ukraine under Zelensky also does not comply with the Minsk agreements, as during the reign of Pyotr Alekseevich. The current president, apparently, is again dragging out time in order not to fulfill the agreements in the framework of the Minsk process, ”the expert emphasized.
In his opinion, Zelensky has not yet fully formed his opinion on the Donbass and the way to resolve the current conflict. The political scientist suggests that the position of the Ukrainian president will become clearer after his meeting with the head of the White House, Donald Trump.
- © Gleb Garanich
“Judging by some statements by the American leader, the United States intends to slightly adjust its policy towards Ukraine. And Zelensky during a meeting with Trump will receive instructions from his Western curators. Including instructions on the future of Donbass and on the position of Kiev regarding the Minsk process and work in the framework of the Norman format, ”said Mezyuho.
Note that on September 13, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Alexander Danilyuk said that at the upcoming meeting with his American counterpart Zelensky intends to discuss issues of resolving the situation in the Donbass. The exact date of the negotiations has not yet been determined, but, according to US Chargé d'Affaires in Ukraine William Taylor, leaders can meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in late September.
Lack of unity in Kiev
The Ukrainian political scientist and economist Alexander Dudchak, for his part, notes that within the Kiev authorities there is no single position regarding the self-proclaimed republics in the east of the country.
“For the meeting itself in the Norman format, Kiev must take the first step. There should be a single position for everyone who speaks on behalf of the Kiev authorities. The trouble is that in Ukraine there is no final position. It is not clear that they are being hindered by the implementation of the Minsk agreements, given the fact that the political power of the president has a majority in parliament, ”RT Dudchak said.
He is sure that in order for progress to resolve the conflict to begin, it is Kiev that must take some steps, because in the LPR and the DPR the Minsk agreements were not sabotaged and they fulfill their part of the agreements.
Recall that in the Minsk agreements the special status of Donbass is prescribed. Earlier, a RT source in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine reported that Zelensky intends to end the war in the east of the country on his own terms.
US Chargé d'Affaires in Ukraine William Taylor expressed the view that a scenario “not stipulated by the Minsk Agreements” should be implemented in the Donbass. This means the introduction of international peacekeepers into the conflict zone and the integration of the territories of the LPR and DPR into Ukraine.