Prerequisites for holding local elections in ORDLO will appear after the introduction of peacekeepers to Donbas. This was stated by the US State Department's Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker in an interview with Dzerkalo Tyzhnya.
According to Volker, the security issue in the conflict zone of Donbas can be resolved after the introduction of peacekeeping forces, and therefore there will be an opportunity for holding local elections in the ORDLO.
"This is one of the reasons for the slowdown of the Minsk process: on the one hand, there is an agreement to hold elections, on the other hand, in the current situation, their implementation is unrealistic. If an acceptable way of attracting international peacekeeping forces is found, then a safe tool, a mean for the physical control of the territory will appear. In conditions of effective international monitoring, the organization of local elections is possible, "he said.
The Special Representative of the State Department noted that local elections must be held on Ukrainian terms, and IDPs should take part in them. In addition, Ukraine should gain access to the now uncontrolled part of the territory of Donbas.
Earlier he stated that Russia's proposal to introduce peacekeepers to Donbas will further divide Ukraine, but not resolve the conflict.
"It was very interesting last week to see how Russia offers a peacekeeping mission, a UN mission, something that Russia had previously said it would not support, something that was proposed after consultations in the Normandy format with the US and others. I think, the details of what was proposed, in fact, will even more divide Ukraine, and not solve the problem, "he said.
At the same time, Volker added that the very fact of the proposal for the introduction of peacekeepers is interesting and it needs to be studied. "If we can come to the point of discussing an international security force that will replace Russian forces and monitor heavy weapons and control the border, this will be a significant step forward, the basis for implementing the Minsk agreements and restoring territorial integrity," he said.