Ukraine has signed an agreement with pro-Russia separatists allowing for local elections to be held in separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine. It could pave the way for further peace talks.
The Ukrainian government signed an agreement Tuesday with pro-Russia separatists, Russia and European monitors that will allow a local election to be held in separatist-controlled regions in eastern Ukraine.
The agreement was signed after the parties met in the Belarusian capital of Minsk and is seen as a major step by the new Ukrainian government under President Volodymyr Zelenskiy toward resolution of the conflict in eastern Ukraine between Kyiv and pro-Russia separatists.
In preparation for the election, the Ukrainian government and separatist leaders said they would withdraw troops from two locations in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions next week.
President Zelenskiy told reporters in Kyiv that Ukraine agreed to a local election only when Ukraine regains control of its borders with Russia. The president has faced criticism that Ukraine is giving concessions to Moscow and for following a policy of appeasement with Russia.