: Donbas elections not possible until Russia retreats – Norway

13:03 Jul. 6, 2016

Donbas elections not possible until Russia retreats – Norway

Foreign volunteers, fighting alongside separatists in occupied Donbas, include militants from  Russia, Serbia, Spain etc. (GettyImages Photo)

Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende paying a visit to Ukraine 

No elections in the occupied Donbas region are possible, until Russia fully withdraws it forces from eastern Ukraine.

This is reported by Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Borge Brende, who is paying a visit to Ukraine, according to UNIAN.

Read also: Norway plans to protect itself from "unpredictable" Russia

"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.

Read also: Norwegian police chief asks permission to block the border with Russia

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.

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