Updated 2:53 p.m. Moscow Time
KIEV, September 17 (RIA Novosti) – The Kiev government will recognize the local elections in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region only if the vote meets international standards and is monitored by observers, Ukrainian Prime Minister Areseniy Yatsenyuk said Wednesday.
“The elections will be recognized as elections only when they are held in line with international norms and rules: observers should get access, there should be no pressure on members of electoral commissions, while political competitiveness and the right to nominate candidates must be ensured,” he said.
On Tuesday, Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, approved a law submitted by President Petro Poroshenko to introduce self-administrative rule in parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The bill also states that local elections are to take place in the regions on December 7.
Later that day, the leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) told RIA Novosti that they view the bill "only as a point of contact for future dialogue, not as a legislative act."
The status of Ukraine's eastern regions remains uncertain, as the leaders of Donetsk and Luhansk people's republics have laid claim to all the territory within the borders of the respective administrative entities in Ukraine, while Kiev has said it is ready to grant special status only to areas currently controlled by independence supporters.