The ideal time to hold elections in the Donbas would be in parallel with local elections in the rest of Ukraine in autumn, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told Bild in an interview, a translation of which was published on the Foreign Ministry website.
He pointed out that Ukraine has already agreed to enshrine the so-called Steinmeier Formula in its legislation, but this does not mean that the elections will be held under any and all circumstances.
“Ideally, these elections should be held in parallel with local elections in Ukraine. I constantly have to remember that these will not be national elections, but local. For this reason, no illegal groups in eastern Ukraine can take part in them. These are much smaller administrative regions along both front lines and in all of Ukraine,” Prystaiko said.
When asked whether members of the “people’s republics” could be elected in these smaller territories, Prystaiko responded that it is well known who will be running in the elections on the other side of the front.
“But people would have the smallest feeling of the democratic process which is taking place in parallel in the separatist-held territories and in the free territories, and it would be an ideal opportunity for Russia to withdraw its troops from our east,” remarked the Ukrainian Foreign Minister.
After the Normandy Format summit in Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron said that the topic for the next meeting would be elections in the Donbas.