COPENHAGEN, 12 November 2018 – In response to the holding of “elections” in the so-called “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine over the weekend, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President George Tsereteli (Georgia) issued the following statement:

“The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly fully supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders and has long called for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements by all sides, which remains the best path to a long-term solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“I therefore deeply regret that the separatist leaders who control parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions ignored the many calls from the international community for this weekend's ‘elections’ to be cancelled. Holding any kind of elections without Ukraine’s consent is a clear violation of the country’s sovereignty. Also, without a robust ceasefire and the full withdrawal of heavy weapons by both sides, such elections will automatically be flawed.

“The ‘elections’ held on 11 November were unlawful and provocative. Steps such as these only serve to hinder the implementation of the Minsk agreements and must be avoided. I urge all parties to renew efforts within the Normandy format and in the Trilateral Contact Group to advance meaningful negotiations.”