Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the statement by UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations Karen Pierce on Ukraine

Q.: At the UN Security Council Briefing on 30 October UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations Karen Pierce claimed general elections in the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic to be illegitimate and a clear breach of the Minsk Agreements. How would you comment on this statement?

A.: The elections in the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic scheduled for November 11 are held to fill the power vacuum after the assassination of Alexander Zakharchenko, which cast suspicion on Ukrainian destabilizing activities in the east. This murder must not result in a halt to daily life in the region, people in Donbass need to carry on with their lives, making ends meet under constant blockade and the threat of the use of force from Kiev. The proposed elections have no bearing on the Minsk agreements, which pertain to municipal elections.

Meanwhile, Kiev is refusing to abide by its commitments and as a result the situation in the east remains explosive. Provisions of the Package of Measures on elections and decentralization, among many others, are not being fulfilled by Ukraine. The UK is among those who continue to cover up Ukraine’s inaction and stoke anti-Russian sentiments, laying the blame on Russia while allowing Kiev to act with impunity.

As a result of anti-Russia hysteria and Kiev’s reliance on radicals, the number of ethnically motivated crimes is rapidly growing in Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities continue violating the language rights of the huge Russian-speaking community.

It is crucial to understand at long last that the only way to settle the Ukrainian crisis is by implementing the Minsk Agreements, which represent a recipe for a political solution well in line with European values. One cannot deal with its own citizens with a gun to their head.