Merkel: internally displaced persons should be allowed to vote in elections in Donbas
All the internally displaced persons who have left Donbas to live in other regions of Ukraine should be allowed to vote in the elections in Donbas that are stipulated by Minsk agreements meant to settle down the situation in the east of Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said.
Speaking with students of the Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University on November 1, when asked whether it is possible to expect that part of territories in Donbas, which are currently beyond control of the Ukrainian authorities, can be reclaimed in two to three years time, she said that "the Minsk agreements are showing the way how to reach that. And, first of all, a ceasefire must be reached there. Then decent, legitimate, and fair elections must be arranged there with the help of OSCE observers."
"Of course, all the parties must take part in those elections, and internally displaced persons must be given an opportunity to take part in the vote. Even those who no longer live there and have left [for other places]," the German politician said.
At the same time, Merkel said that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission must get access to the entire region, and now "they are having big problems with that." "And after those elections, a structure may appear that will represent people's will in that region," she said.
Speaking further, she reiterated that the illegitimate elections that are scheduled for November 11 to be held in certain parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are beyond the control of the Ukrainian authorities cannot be recognized: "Some elections have been planned there for November 11. They cannot be recognized as this will aggravate the situation."
The politician also said that the Minsk plan envisages an amnesty and this "should be taken into consideration so that no-one would be willing to take revenge" there.
"With the Minsk agreements, we have been able to devise a plan, a difficult one; however, at present, I cannot see a better one. It aims to allow Ukraine to regain control of the entire territory towards the border with Russia," Merkel concluded.