U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker has said free and transparent elections in Ukraine's temporarily uncontrolled territories can only take place after resolving security issues.
"Free and transparent elections, as envisaged in the Minsk Agreements, can only take place in a safe environment. To that end, we need to address security issues, which is where political will comes into the spotlight. Russia has not displayed yet any political will to put an end to the conflict," he said at the 16th Yalta European Strategy (YES) annual meeting.
At the same time, Volker said he believes the efforts of Ukraine's new government will facilitate the resolution of conflict in Donbas.
"I hope that Ukraine's success, the recent changes, the dynamism shown by President Volodymyr Zelensky, and the exchange of prisoners will refine the context, and we will witness some progress in the future. But we need to see if Russia is ready for that," Volker added.