France's Hollande says Minsk process will likely not conclude by year-end

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 02, 2015 2:30 PM

PARIS (Reuters) - It will take time to organize elections in Ukraine that respect international standards, and as a result the so-called Minsk peace process will most likely not be concluded by year-end, French President Francois Hollande said on Friday.

"On the election issue ... it will take longer. We don't want elections to get held in eastern Ukrainian territories under conditions that would not respect Minsk," said Hollande, who was speaking after hosting talks with the Russian, Ukrainian and German leaders.

"It's therefore likely, even certain now, that - since we need three months to organize elections - we would go beyond the date that was set for the end of Minsk, that is to say Dec.31, 2015," he told a news conference.

The Minsk accord contains a year-end deadline for Ukraine to recover full control over its border.

(Reporting by Michel Rose; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Andrew Callus)