Elections in Donbas should be held only after all Minsk conditions fulfilled - Brende

Elections in Donbas should be held only after all Minsk conditions fulfilled - BrendeElections in Donbas can be carried out only after all the clauses of the Minsk agreements are fulfilled, Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende has said.

"We must not give in to the influence of arguments that the Minsk-1 and Minsk-2 agreements apply only to the elections in Donbas and the increase of level of powers of local authorities in Donbas," Brende said at a joint press conference with Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin in Kyiv on Wednesday.

According to him, these agreements say that Russia should withdraw its troops and weapons from Donbas and stop funding the militants.

"There are still Russian troops and Russian weapons in Donbas, the funding of Russian mercenaries continues. Does the OSCE currently has full access to all locations in Donbas? Has Ukraine restored the full control over its border in Donbas? I think we know the answers to these questions," he said.

Read also: "We won't recognize elections in Donbas, held without observing Minsk agreements" - Nuland

Thus, according to the Norwegian minister, the elections in Donbas should be held after all the conditions stated in the Minsk agreement are fulfilled. Then more powers can be given to local self-government agencies, he said.

"I expect the Verkhovna Rada to adopt the necessary laws when all the rest of conditions are met. I fully agree with those who believe that the idea of holding the elections in Ukraine in the part of the country where there are still foreign troops is untimely," Brende said.
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