U.S. State Department: Russia must cancel illegal sham elections in Donbas
Spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State Heather Nauert has said Russia must cancel the illegal sham elections it is organizing in the Russia-controlled parts of eastern Ukraine, Donbas.
"We call on Russia to join Ukraine in pursuing peace. Russia and the forces it arms, trains, leads, and fights alongside have yet to follow through on repeated commitments to cease hostilities, withdraw foreign fighters, exchange detainees, or disband the illegal armed formations. Moscow should institute a full and comprehensive ceasefire and cancel the illegal sham elections it is organizing in the Russia-controlled parts of eastern Ukraine," Nauert said in a press statement.
The United States also congratulated Ukraine's Parliament and Ukrainian leaders on extending the law on special status for Russia-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine.
"Extending this law, which would have expired yesterday, demonstrates Ukraine's continued commitment to a peaceful resolution of the conflict and implementation of the Minsk agreements. Ukraine's brave step towards peace stands in sharp comparison to Russia's continued failure to fulfill its Minsk commitments," she said.
"The United States continues to support the efforts of France and Germany in the Normandy Format to advance implementation of the Minsk agreements and we remain open to dialogue with Moscow on avenues for restoring Ukraine's territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders," Nauert added.