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Russia and West Clash Over East Ukraine Elections


7Dnews London

Wed, 31 Oct 2018 17:04 GMT

On Tuesday October 30th Russia clashed with European nations and the United States over the legality of elections in two Moscow-backed separatist areas in eastern Ukraine, and the UN political chief indicated backing for the Western view that the polls would violate a 2015 peace agreement.

Russia appeared totally isolated at a Security Council meeting on the November 11th elections in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. 

As reported by AP, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia wanted Elena Kravchenko, president of the Central Electoral Committee in Luhansk, to brief the council. However, in a procedural vote called by half a dozen Western nations on whether she could speak, Russia was the only "yes" vote, with seven countries voting "no" and seven abstaining. A minimum of nine "yes" votes were needed for Kravchenko to speak. 

Eight EU countries - France, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium and Germany - urged the international community to unite in opposing the elections, saying the votes "can only serve to undermine efforts to achieve peace in the region." They urged the separatists to abandon plans for the elections and called on Russia "to bring its considerable influence to bear to stop the so-called 'elections' from taking place." 

US deputy ambassador Jonathan Cohen said later that the "sham elections staged by Russia" violate the Minsk agreements, which state that elections must be held in accordance with Ukrainian law and be supervised by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. 

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