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Donbas elections not possible until Russia retreats – Norway FM

On July 6, Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende is paying a visit to Ukraine
Donbas elections not possible until Russia retreats – Norway

Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Borge Brende, who is paying a visit to Ukraine, said that no elections in the occupied Donbas region are possible, until Russia fully withdraws it forces from eastern Ukraine, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to UA Today TV channel.

“We shouldn’t think that the Minsk agreements only mean elections and decentralization. Minsk also means the withdrawal of Russian armed forces, Russian military vehicles from Donbas, the stoppage of their financial support for their mercenaries”, Brende stated after a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin.

The Minister also stressed the importance of the OSCE mission to the conflict region.

“Do the OSCE observers have full access to Donbas? Does Ukraine have full control over its borders? I think we know the answers to these questions. I agree with Minister Klimkin that elections are important, but the must be held only after other Minsk conditions are fulfilled”,Brende underlined.

Norwegian official said he expected Ukraine to adopt the laws, necessary for holding the vote in Donbas.

“But I agree with those, who say the timing is not right for the elections to be conducted in the region where foreign soldiers are located,” Brende stated.