Fair elections in the territory of Donbas cannot be held in the presence of mercenaries, brought by Russia together with its own troops and weapons, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin stated during a joint press conference with Foreign Minister of Norway Borge Brende, a QHA correspondent reports.

“We need to reach a real de-escalation and stabilization in Donbas as a condition of holding free and fair elections there, of course, in terms of a stable ceasefire. But the most important - in the context of the full access of the OSCE SMM to all uncontrolled by Ukraine areas of Donbas and sections of Russian-Ukrainian border - in terms of the withdrawal of Russian regular troops, Russian mercenaries and all weapons brought to Donbas by Russia,” said Klimkin.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry went on to say that the Ukrainian authorities will not recognize the current leaders of the terrorist organizations "DPR" and "LPR" (Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics). 

“I want to say about the impossibility of legitimizing those who was swept to power with help of Russian aggression and Russian troops,” Pavel Klimkin stressed.

According to him, Ukraine is committed in every way to achieve stabilization of the situation in the East of Ukraine, as evidenced by the adoption of a bill on the peculiarities of local self-governance in certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions by the Verkhovna Rada.

Pavlo Klimkin also thanked the head of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for active support of Ukraine in the international arena, support aid for internally displaced persons, and especially, for assistance in demining Donbas areas.