Russia’s idea to conduct a referendum “on Donbas’ status” was not approved in Washington. At the briefing in Brussels, Kurt Volker, the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine, said that it contradicts with the Ukrainian Constitution and Minsk Agreements, as Interfax-Ukraine reports.
“The U.S. rejects the initiative on a referendum. There is no legal basis for this in the Constitution of Ukraine and Minsk Agreements,” he stressed.
Also, he urged to recall that as a result of Russian aggression, more than a million of Donbas residents had to become IDPs.
Earlier, Bloomberg, referring to the sources, reported that the Russian President Vladimir Putin after his meeting with the U.S. President Donald Trump proposed to carry out a referendum in Donbas. According to the interlocutor, Trump asked Putin not to discuss the idea of the referendum at the press conference after the Summit so that the U.S. President had time to think about it. The source added that Putin offered to hold voting among local residents in Donbas concerning the status of their region. Everything has to be carried out under the auspices of the international community.
Russian sources state that such a referendum should not follow a “Crimean scenario,” it should be only about the autonomy of Donbas in Ukraine.
Later, Garret Marquis, the Head of the U.S. National Security Council, stated that the Administration was not considering the support of the referendum.
In his turn, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that the sequence of such statements of the Russian authority is a breakdown of Ukraine.
Kurt Volker assured that the U.S. did not support the idea of conducting any referendums on occupied Donbas as they would be illegitimate.