President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said that local elections in Donbas will be held after the withdrawal of the occupying troops.
Speaking at a briefing after his meeting with Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid, he said that he would be able to comment more specifically on elections in Donbas only after an agreement in the Normandy format is reached.
Asked whether the troops would be pulled out before elections, he said: "Yes. What, do you think it can be done differently?"
He added that this was a complicated question which is broader than just an election.
"This is a question of exchanging people first to be followed by troops withdrawal. Now we are talking about disengagement in Zolote and Petrovske. Only then we will be talking about troops disengagement in the entire territory, this is 400 km. And only after that we can talk about the format of elections in the occupied territories," he explained.
Zelenskyy emphasised that Donbas is Ukraine and local elections should be held there under Ukrainian law.
"I cannot discuss any other details and terms with you now," he said.
On 13 August, Foreign Minister Vadym Prystayko said that Ukraine wants to hold the next local elections not only in the government-controlled territory but also in occupied Donbas.