Germany & France urge separatists/Russia to stop preparations for so-called elections
Joint remarks to the press by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations and Mr Christoph Heusgen, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations
30 October 2018
As mediators of the Normandie format, France and Germany have a particular role and responsibility with respect to the crisis in Ukraine.
In that capacity, my German colleague and I would like to make some brief comments in complement to the Security Council session we just attended.
This public session of the Council was an opportunity to raise our concerns about the latest developments in Ukraine, with respect to the so-called “elections” in the separatist territories, with respect also to the consequences of the illegal annexation of Crimea on the Asov Sea, and finally of course with respect to the humanitarian situation.
This meeting was also an opportunity to reiterate our joint commitment to the negotiations in the Normandy format based on the Minsk Agreements.
Germany and France are firmly committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. We once again urge the separatists and Russia to stop the preparations for the so-called “elections”. The only elections that should take place are the local elections foreseen in the Minsk Agreements.
In addition to the statement that we made as E8 before the meeting, I would add to what my French colleague just said: that Germany wants to insist and emphasize that the so-called “elections” would contravene the Minsk Agreements. It is important to remember that - already in 2014 -, so-called ”elections”, illegal elections, were conducted in the Donbass. They were carried out with Russia’s backing and against the express will of the international community. We have to make sure that this does not become a pattern, history must not repeat itself.
I would like to recall the Minsk meetings and would urge Russia that, instead of preparing illegal elections together with the people of the so-called “Republic of Donetsk and Luhansk§, it should concentrate on the implementation of the commitments that were made during the last ministerial meeting of the Normandy group in June in Berlin. In particular, this refers to the de-escalation of the conflict: to adhere to the ceasefire, the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the conflict zone, and to the protection of civilian infrastructure. Of course, these commitments should also be observed by Ukraine.
Germany and France will continue to drive the Normandy 4 process forward to achieve result on the ground. The people in Donbass deserve no less. Thank you.