Russian diplomat denounces Kiev’s concept of holding Donbass referendum as a mockery
MOSCOW, December 15. / TASS /. Kiev’s attempts to seal the fate of the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk without involving their residents and violating people’s rights look more like a travesty than a solution to the conflict, Russian ministry spokeswoman said of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova at a briefing on Wednesday.
The diplomat commented on the statement made by the chairman of the Verkhovnaya Rada (Ukrainian parliament) Ruslan Stefanchuk, who said that if a referendum on the Donbass was held, the inhabitants of the republics could participate in it only after arriving in the territory. controlled by Kiev.
âThere has emerged a certain concept of a referendum on the Donbass. It has a very interesting structure, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, as well as representatives of the [Verkhovnaya] Rada, mentioned it. It looks like this should help break the deadlock in some way. It is proposed to decide the fate of Donbass at pan-Ukrainian level but without the participation of citizens of the region. What can I say ? The double standards of the governance of Kiev? I am not sure. Hypocrisy is also, I think, a bad word. The mockery is closer to the goal, “the diplomat said.
Zakharova stressed that according to one of the concepts, residents of Donbass should travel to other regions of Ukraine to vote. Votes will only be counted under these conditions, while the referendum will not take place in the RPL and the DPR. “And it was offered by the same people who believe the referendum in Crimea was illegitimate and held at gunpoint,” the diplomat said.
As the Russian diplomat recalled, during discussions on the world stage, Kiev insisted that the fate of Ukraine could not be decided without the people of the country. “Could you then answer the question, whether the fate of the Donbass can be discussed without the Donbass?” The Kiev leadership forgets that, according to the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements, the coordination of all aspects should be carried out in direct dialogue between Kiev, the DPR and the LPR as parties to the conflict. In addition to the wishes of politicians, there is the UN-approved Package of Measures, which points to [the need for] dialogue between the parties “, Zakharova insisted.
Earlier, the Ukrainian leader said he was not ruling out the possibility of holding a referendum on the Donbass, aimed in particular at putting an end to hostilities in the region.