Yermak excludes holding elections in Donbas without govt control over its territory
The newly appointed head of the President's Office of Ukraine Andriy Yermak emphasizes the impossibility of holding any kind of election process in the occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the presence of foreign and/or illegal armed groups and in the presence of a section of the state border that is not controlled by the Ukrainian side.
"I want to repeat once again that in accordance with Ukrainian legislation, it is impossible to hold elections if there are any foreign military groups on the territory, there are any illegal armed people and the Ukrainian border is not under the control of the Ukrainian government. This is written in Ukrainian legislation, and we plan to hold the elections one hundred per cent in accordance with Ukrainian legislation," he said at his first press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday morning.
Yermak also said he had not spoken with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Kozak since being appointed head of the Ukrainian presidential office.
"I have not spoken with Mr. Kozak since his appointment, since my appointment [...] I think I will have a chance to do so," he said.
The principles declared by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky remain unchanged and remain the way they were before the Normandy summit in Paris in 2019, regardless of who will represent the Russian Federation in the talks of the Trilateral Contact Group in Minsk or in the Normandy format, Yermak said.