Kremlin understands that the elections in Donbass were held due to the need to solve pressing issues for survival and ensuring social stability, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.
"We have understanding about the fact of holding these elections," Peskov said. "This concerns two republics, which have been rejected by Ukraine and have been facing total embargo," TASS reported.
The Ukrainian side has not been implementing the Minsk agreements and in this situation and amid the danger of a military scenario "these republics have no choice but to self-organize with the goals of ensuring their own existence, life and social commitments before people, who have been rejected by their country," Peskov stressed.
Peskov declined to comment on Moscow’s influence on the self-proclaimed Donbass republics, calling it "rather abstract." "The republics need to settle their life and ensure their security." The elderly people should receive pensions, ill persons need medicines and medical services, and public order should be ensured. "Hardly anyone may force or convince republics to give up these priority measures, neither Russia nor another country."
Meanwhile, he assured that "Russia did and plans to do its utmost and what is needed to ensure the implementation of the Minsk agreements because this is the only foundation for settlement in Ukraine’s southeast."
Peskov said he was not aware if Russian President Vladimir Putin would congratulate the newly elected leaders in the self-proclaimed Donbass republics.
On November 11, Donbass held the elections of heads of the LPR and DPR, and also MPs of unicameral parliaments, the People’s Councils. With 100% of ballots counted, Acting LPR Head Leonid Pasechnik secured 68.3% of the vote, and Acting DPR leader Denis Pushilin was backed by 60.85% of voters. At the parliamentary polls, the Peace for Lugansk Region public movement received 74.13% of the vote, while the Donetsk Republic public movement led by Pushilin garnered 72.5% of the vote.
A high voter turnout was recorded during the elections (77% in the LPR and 80.1% in the DPR).