Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine Oleksiy Reznikov believes that elections should be held in the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions but there are no proper conditions for holding them so far.
"My position is that the elections should be held in the occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions after foreign troops are withdrawn, after disarmament, demilitarization, withdrawal of all illegal armed groups takes place, and constitutional order is established," Reznikov told reporters on August 26 after a meeting of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on the Organization of State Power, Local Self-Government, Regional Development, and Urban Planning.
According to him, this will allow the OSCE monitoring mission to come and certify that the elections were held in accordance with the laws and the Constitution of Ukraine, Copenhagen criteria, and freedom of voting.
However, it is impossible to ensure the proper conditions so far, Reznikov noted.
"According to my information, Russian troops and their mercenaries continue to stay there [in Donbas], so the elections cannot be held so far because no monitoring mission will come there, it is dangerous there... Therefore, first of all, security provisions of the Minsk agreements should be fulfilled and then we will be able to talk about the appointment of elections," Reznikov stressed.
At the same time, he drew attention to the fact that the elections in the occupied Donbas may be appointed with a separate law, as it is stated in a package of measures to implement the Minsk agreements and in the law on the peculiarities of local self-governance.
"The Parliament of Ukraine should pass a separate law on early elections in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, and elections can be held there under this law. The Verkhovna Rada resolution regulates elections in the government-controlled territories. These are completely different legal documents and entail different legal consequences," the Vice Prime Minister explained.
At a meeting of the Trilateral Contact Group on August 18, head of the Ukrainian delegation Leonid Kravchuk informed the TCG members that he had asked the Parliament of Ukraine to consider the compliance of the Verkhovna Rada Resolution "On the appointment of scheduled local elections in 2020" with the Law of Ukraine "On Special Order of Local Self-governance in Certain Areas of Donetsk and Luhansk Regions" and the package of measures to implement the Minsk agreements which had been supported by the UN Security Council Resolution 2202 (2015 ).
Later, Kravchuk explained that the representatives of the Russian Federation demanded at the TCG meeting that the Verkhovna Rada should amend the resolution on appointment of local elections in 2020.
Kravchuk noted that the Russian side was dissatisfied with the fact that, according to the Parliament’s resolution, elections could be held only in the territory controlled by the Ukrainian authorities.
Verkhovna Rada Speaker Dmytro Razumkov stated that Kravchuk's appeal had been sent to the relevant committee.