United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today deplored the planned holding by armed rebel groups in eastern Ukraine of their own “elections” on 2 November, calling the potential polls a “breach of the constitution and national law.”
“These ‘elections’ will seriously undermine the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum, which need to be urgently implemented in full,” Mr. Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesperson in New York.
Reiterating the importance of restoring stability and safeguarding Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Secretary-General through the statement urged all sides to uphold all parts of the Protocol, an agreement signed in the Belarussian capital in September by representatives of the Russian Federation, Ukraine and opposition groups.
Tensions in Ukraine came to a head after months of political unrest led to the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych in February. This was followed by increased political pressures in the country’s autonomous region of Crimea, where Russian military were subsequently deployed and a secession referendum was held in mid-March, in which the majority of the region’s people voted to join Russia.