Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has denounced elections which are due to be held in the east of Ukraine in November by rebels.
Under a new law signed by the president earlier this week, parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions have been given ‘special status’ with three-year self-rule and can hold elections on 7 December.
The separatists have ignored this and set their own date a month earlier for 2 November.
Poroshenko has just returned from Milan where he met with EU leaders and Russian president Vladimir Putin.
“The fake, so called elections on 2 November or any other date – which will be held without respect to Ukrainian laws and without respect for the ceasefire, and without any international observers, including the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and the European Council – will be not recognised by any of the Milan meeting participants. This is the result of consultation among all the participants,” he declared.
After meeting with Poroshenko in Milan, Putin said the new law although not perfect could be used to bring stability to the region.
The self-proclaimed Prime Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) Alexander Zakharchenko meanwhile launched his election campaign this weekend.
“Unfortunately Ukraine doesn’t want to change from a military confrontation to a political confrontation. Conditions of the Minsk agreement haven’t been respected. Attacks and fighting have not stopped even for one day,” he said.
Both sides accuse each other of continuing the fighting and breaking the ceasefire.
Ukraine is due to hold parliamentary elections on 26 October.