18:37 Apr. 30, 2016
Geoffrey Pyatt considers local elections crucial in Donbas reintegration
U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt hopes that Ukraine has already come through the hardest times in Donbas war.
"We have a good understanding of the ordeal Ukraine had to live through during two years of Russian aggression. On the other hand, we think that the most difficult times of the conflict are already in the past. And now you are building a true European democracy, which has been Ukraine's key objective for the last 25 years," Pyatt said at a meeting with Mariupol students, according to Hromadske Radio.
Pyatt added that local elections are crucial to reintegrate Donbas into Ukraine, but they should be held when there are no Russian troops in eastern Ukraine:
"The United States aims to bring Minsk agreements to their full implementation. This means a complete cease-fire, the withdrawal of all Russian troops and armaments, the return of the control of the state border to Ukraine, the release of all the hostages, including Nadiya Savchenko, and holding elections under the OSCE standards. Such elections, which were held here in Mariupol. And a true democratic leadership should be chosen in these elections," said the ambassador.