"I consider today's 'presidential and parliamentary elections' in Donetsk and Luhansk 'People's Republics' a new obstacle on the path towards peace in Ukraine. The vote is illegal and illegitimate, and the European Union will not recognise it.
These 'elections' were held contrary to the letter and the spirit of the Minsk Protocol, signed by the representatives of the trilateral Contact Group, and obstruct efforts to find a sustainable political solution to the crisis.
Early local elections in accordance with Ukrainian law, as foreseen in the Minsk Protocol, are the legal and legitimate means of renewing the democratic mandate of the local authorities in these parts of Ukraine. I call on all sides to work towards such elections.
The aspiration for peace can't be only a political statement, it requires political will and good faith. I hope all parties will reaffirm their commitment to the Minsk Protocol, and will act coherently in order to implement it fully in all its parts.
The European Union is committed to supporting these efforts and will continue working towards the solution of the crisis in Ukraine. I call on all parties to act in full respect of the territorial integrity, sovereignty, independence and unity of the country."
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