Washington not considering supporting referendum in Donbas
Washington is not considering supporting a possible referendum in Donbas, National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis has said.
"The [U.S.] administration is not considering supporting a referendum in eastern Ukraine," Bloomberg quoted him as saying.
Bloomberg, referring to its sources, reported earlier that Russian President Vladimir Putin had proposed at a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in Helsinki on July 16 that a referendum be held in the temporarily occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. According to sources, Putin told about his proposal at a meeting with Russian ambassadors on July 19. One of the sources said that Trump had requested Putin not discuss the referendum idea at the press conference after the summit "in order to give the U.S. leader time to mull it."
Earlier, a diplomat told the Interfax-Ukraine news agency that Kyiv had asked for clarification from Washington regarding any discussion between Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Donald Trump in Helsinki about "new proposals" for ending Russia's invasion of eastern Ukraine and Crimea.
The source said Kyiv has asked Washington to officially refute the claim if it cannot be confirmed.
Ukraine's representative in the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group, Verkhovna Rada First Deputy Speaker Iryna Gerashchenko stated that "there will be no referendums organized by the Kremlin's puppets in the lands occupied by the Kremlin." She also said that the Minsk agreements do not provide for holding a referendum in Donbas.
At the same time, she confirmed that the Ukrainian side had formally appealed to U.S. partners to provide information about any "new ideas about Ukraine" that Putin announced during a meeting with the U.S. president in Helsinki.