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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by NSC Spokesperson Bernadette Meehan on Anticipated Separatist “Elections” in Eastern Ukraine

We deplore the intent of separatists in parts of eastern Ukraine to hold illegitimate so-called local “elections” on Sunday, November 2. If held, these “elections” would contravene Ukraine’s constitution and laws and the September 5 Minsk Protocol. As President Obama said on October 27, “the United States will not recognize any election held in separatist-held areas that does not comport with Ukrainian law and is not held with the express consent and under the authority of the Ukrainian government.” The only legitimate local election in eastern Ukraine will be held on December 7, as prescribed by the Special Status Law signed by President Poroshenko for parts of Donetsk and Luhansk, and in keeping with the Protocol that the separatists signed with Ukraine and Russia in Minsk, Belarus, on September 5.

As a signatory of the Minsk Protocol, we call on Russia to join the Secretary General of the United Nations, the European Union, the Council of Europe, and the international community in condemning the illegitimate vote planned for this weekend. The United States will not recognize any results announced from this so-called election, and we call on all members of the international community to do the same. We also caution Russia against using any such illegitimate vote as a pretext to insert additional troops and military equipment into Ukraine, particularly in light of recent indications that the Russian military is moving forces back to the border along separatist controlled areas of eastern Ukraine. We once more urge Russia and its separatist proxies to fulfill all of their commitments under the Minsk Protocol of September 5, and the Minsk Memorandum of September 19.