The Kremlin will refrain from commenting on the primary elections held on Sunday in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) and Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR), Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
At the same time he said that Russia expected “Kiev to fulfill the political part and other parts of the Minsk agreements as soon as possible which is necessary for the implementation of the agreements.”
After concluding the agreements, Kiev has been failing to agree on the separate election law with the self-proclaimed republics, and the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) has not been able to approve the law.
As a result, the republics have been repeatedly forced to postpone the elections which were initially planned to be held until the end of 2015. Given the continuing uncertainty regarding the future election law, a decision to conduct primary elections was made. According to the authorities of the self-proclaimed republics, the primaries do not contradict the Minsk agreements and the OSCE standards, they are aimed at identifying those whom the people trust most before conducting local elections.
The first stage of the primaries in the DPR was held in the city of Donetsk where people elected candidates for mayor, members of the city and local councils and heads of Donetsk’s districts and constituent settlements, including those located along the line of engagement. In the LPR, residents of Lugansk, Alexandrovka and Yubileiny voted for candidates to local self-government.