Poroshenko: Peacekeepers in Donbas to ensure holding of free local elections

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Local elections in Donbas could be held after the security conditions are ensured involving United Nations peacekeepers and provided that Ukrainian parties run in them, as well as 1.6 million temporary displaced persons being able to participate in it, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said.

“A full-fledged peacekeeping mission, which would have a mandate, powers and capacities in terms of disarming illegal armed units, is needed,” Poroshenko said in an interview with Ukrainian television channels on Friday.

Following the establishment of peace in Donbas territories outside Kyiv’s control, it could be possible to proceed to the political settlement, he said.

“Peacekeepers (would) enter, help to disarm (militants), establish peace and the necessary security conditions for the beginning of the political settlement by means of local elections, in which (…) Ukrainian political parties, Ukrainian companies, Ukrainian media, international observers could participate.(Elections) which would enable us to carry out the free expression of citizens’ will, including taking into consideration the votes of temporary displaced persons, who were forced to leave the occupied territory, and there are 1,600,000 of them,” the Ukrainian president said.

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