Donbas elections "impossible" until foreign troops withdrawn – new Presidential Office chief Yermak
Head of the Presidential Office Andriy Yermak says holding elections in the war-torn Donbas is impossible until foreign troops and illegal armed groups are withdrawn and control over the border is regained by Ukraine.
"It is impossible to hold elections if there are any foreign military groups in the territory, any illegally armed people, and while border of Ukraine remains beyond the control of the Ukrainian government. This is spelled out in Ukrainian law. And we plan to conduct the elections 100% according to Ukrainian law," Yermak told his first Kyiv briefing after being appointed Head of the Presidential Administration.
"It would be logical if the elections were held throughout Ukraine. Donbas, just like Crimea, is the territory of Ukraine. There are conditions without which [holding elections] is impossible. We on the Ukrainian side are ready to fulfill all the agreements that were reached, primarily in Paris," he said.
"We have a clear plan for what should happen so that in late October, elections could be held throughout Ukraine, in line with Ukrainian laws," said Yermak.
According to the Presidential Office chief, some compromises could be reached during talks, but not to the detriment of Ukraine's interests.