“Elections” scheduled by so called “DPR” and “LPR” for November 2 are illegitimate, violate the Minsk Protocol and demolish the logics of peaceful settlement in Donbas. The world community will condemn these “voting” and announce its results as null and void. As a signatory of the Minsk Protocol, Russia must comply with her commitment and contribute to the efforts to achieve sustainable peaceful settlement. Pursuant to the Minsk arrangements the only legitimate elections must be held according to the legislation of Ukraine, on December 7.
1. On September 16 in strict compliance with Article 9 of Minsk Protocol of 5 September 2014 the Parliament of Ukraine adopted the Law “On Interim Local Self-Government in Certain Districts of the Donestk and Luhansk Regions” as a legal ground for holding snap elections in the east of Ukraine. The Law sets the term for elections – 7 December.
Minsk arrangements signed by the authorized representatives of Ukraine, OSCE and Russia provide for local voting according to this law as a part of a broader de-escalation process and an important step forward towards further inclusive national dialogue, which is also envisaged by the Minsk Protocol. Legitimate elites of the Donestk and Luhansk regions are expected to be elected in order to present interests of local population on the basis of a justified mandate.
The Constitution of Ukraine clearly defines Ukrainian Parliament as the only body authorized to set the date for local elections. Any decision taken in violation of this legal procedure threatens national security of Ukraine and undermines its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence and will not be tolerated.
2. An intention to conduct voting in November declared by illegitimate “leaders” of so called “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic” is a clear violation of the Constitution and national legislation of Ukraine and a direct infringement of the Minsk Protocol attested by militants holding responsibility for its obedience on their part.
Along with being answerable for legal norms violation and threatening national security of Ukraine, those responsible for organizing or supporting illegitimate elections are liable for ruining peaceful process and fueling tensions in the east of Ukraine. World democracies and esteemed international organizations have already defined their unequivocal stance on illegitimate vote: elections of so called “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic” on November 2 will be announced null and void.
So far, despite being a part to the Minsk Protocol, the Russian Federation did not raise its voice against peaceful arrangements’ violation. Moreover, Russia conveys unacceptable signals to militants encouraging them to follow illegitimate way of conducting pseudo elections. It clearly brings into question Russia’s goodwill and contradicts the logic of agreements being reached so far with Russia.
3. By supporting the pseudo elections on November 2 Russia shows disrespect for territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity of Ukraine, which was agreed to be the basis for the sustainable peaceful settlement in Donbas.
4. The will of Ukrainian people residing in all its regions, including Donestk’s and Luhansk’s districts, to live in a united reforms-oriented Ukraine was vividly confirmed during the recent national parliamentary elections on October 26. Almost every ballot casted in the east of Ukraine was in favor of political forces condemning separatism and striving to build better future for Ukrainian citizens in a sovereign independent state.
In Ukraine there is no social demand or national strive to divide the country. The idea of so called “Novorossia’s people” self-determination is artificial in its nature and a dubious product of blatant anti-Ukrainian propaganda. It has no historic background. It is not justified by modern realities. There is no any “Novorossia” nation or Novorossian ethnic group in Ukraine or wherever else in the world.
Ukrainian society is traditionally ethnic and religious tolerant as well as highly critical about any hints to Nazism or fascism (bearing in mind huge losses of Ukraine in the World War II and its tremendous contribution to the victory). All ethnic groups enjoy equal rights and freedoms in Ukraine guaranteed by the national legislation and strictly obeyed at the territories under control of Ukrainian authorities. On the contrary, grave human and national minority rights’ violations are observed by all international monitoring missions in Crimea occupied by the Russian Federation as well as at the territories in the east of Ukraine remaining under control of Russia-backed militants.