23 October 2016

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Russian-backed leaders will not rule in Donbas - Ukraine's FM

Ukraine will never let the current leaders of Russian-backed separatists rule the Donbas region, even in case they are officially elected, according to Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, Ukraine Today reported.

Kyiv is ready to fully implement the Minsk agreements, Klimkin said Wednesday, but only after Russia withdraws its troops and heavy weapon along with returning total border control to Ukrainian border guards. The first issue to fulfil, insists Ukraine's Minister, is the immediate ceasefire the release of prisoners, according to Ukraine Today.

After the Minsk agreements are fully implemented, says Klimkin, Ukraine will conduct local elections on the freed territories of Donbas region. The process is to be controlled by Ukrainian authorities and OSCE, with no Russian intrusion into Ukraine's inner policy.

On having gained the special status, the regions of Donetsk and Luhansk are set to be governed by Ukrainian citizens according to Ukrainian laws, with no influence from Kremlin.

Norwegian FM: Donbas elections impossible until Russia withdraws troops"If we conduct the elections right here right now, we will simply legitimize those who are currently in power in the occupied territories of Donbas region,” said Klimkin. “This means we will recognize the Russian-backed separatists as official authorities, thus accepting the conditions Russia desperately tries to impose."

See’s video section for more of the latest news from Ukraine in video from Ukraine Today, Ukraine’s 24-hour English-language news channel.

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