President of Ukraine

There can be no local elections in Donbas at the barrel of machine guns - Volodymyr Zelenskyy

1 October 2019 - 21:34

There can be no local elections in Donbas at the barrel of machine guns - Volodymyr Zelenskyy

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine had agreed to the so-called Steinmeier formula. He also notes that local elections in Donbas can only take place under Ukrainian law and only after the troops are withdrawn and Ukraine regains control of the state border.

"Today, the last obstacles to the Normandy summit have been eliminated. I think we will know the date soon,” the Head of State said during a briefing on October 1.

He stressed that the so-called Steinmeier formula had become the biggest horror story in Ukraine in recent weeks, hence it needed clarification.

The President emphasized that it was a mechanism under which the temporary law on special order of local self-government in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions - the so-called law on special status of Donbas would start working on a permanent basis after the holding of local elections in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine and the Ukrainian legislation, as well as after the publication of the OSCE’s report that the elections had been held under the OSCE and international standards of democratic elections.

"This means that there can be no elections at the barrel of machine guns," Volodymyr Zelenskyy noted.

“And another very important point is that the law on special status of Donbas is in force until December 31, 2019. A new law will be developed by the Parliament in close cooperation and open discussion with the public,” he added.

According to the Head of State, no “red line” will be crossed in the new law. “That is why there will be no capitulation,” the President said.

As regards the timing of the withdrawal of Russian troops from the occupied territories of Donbas and the prevention of holding the elections before the withdrawal, Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that it would be discussed during the Normandy format summit.

«It will be envisaged. It is impossible to do this in elections (in electoral legislation - ed.), because elections must be held in accordance with our legislation. We will discuss this. If there is someone there will be no elections. You do understand it. We will prepare safeguards. We will never agree to hold the elections if there are military there,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.