Local elections in Donbas can be held only after withdrawal of Russian troops – Poroshenko
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that Ukraine is a unitary state, and local elections in Donbas can be held only after the withdrawal of Russian troops and the establishment of proper security conditions there.
"We have never talked about political autonomy, federalization, as they want to present. Ukraine is a unitary state and will never accept external pressure with the goal of changing the structure of our country. Neither Moscow, nor Brussels, nor Washington will decide on how Ukraine looks. This is the sovereign right of Ukrainian citizens," he said in Kyiv on Friday at the 15th Annual Meeting of Yalta European Strategy (YES) organized by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.
Poroshenko said that after the implementation of the Minsk agreements, Ukraine undertakes to hold fair and free local elections so that "local communities could choose how to live, what language to speak, but, of course, in coordination with the central authorities."
"We are ready to launch local elections [in Donbas] as soon as all conditions and security requirements are fulfilled. We have been waiting for this from Russia for four years, at least the slightest step. Instead, we hear talks about illegal fake elections in occupied territories," he said.