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EU Calls On Russia To Halt Separatist 'Elections' In Donbas

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has criticized a plan by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine to hold elections and has called on Moscow to use its influence to stop the vote from taking place.

A statement by Mogherini's spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said reports that "so-called 'elections' will be held in the so-called 'Luhansk People's Republic' and 'Donetsk People's Republic' on November 11 runs contrary to the spirit and letter of the Minsk agreements, which have specific provisions regarding the organization of local elections in that region."

It added that "all steps that would obstruct the advancement of the implementation of the Minsk agreements must be avoided" and that the EU expects "Russia in particular to make full use of its influence on the separatists in this regard."

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry also decried the announcement by separatist officials in the Donbas region about the elections.

"If fake 'early elections' are conducted, their outcome will be legally void, they will not create any legal consequences, and will not be recognized by Ukraine or the global community," the ministry said in a statement on September 7.

The fighting in eastern Ukraine has killed more than 10,300 people since 2014 and forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

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