The United States has said it would not recognise weekend elections planned by pro-Kremlin rebels in eastern Ukraine, where more than 4,000 people have been killed according to new UN figures.
The European Union and the transatlantic NATO alliance have also condemned Sunday’s leadership vote in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
“We deplore the intent of separatists in parts of eastern Ukraine to hold illegitimate so-called local ‘elections’ on Sunday,” White House National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said in a statement on Friday.
It came as the United Nations said there have been 4,035 deaths in over six months of fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian rebels. More than 300 have come in the last 10 days alone, showing the fragility of a ceasefire reached in September.
The United States has said it would, however, recognise a December 7 vote planned in the region and backed by the international community.
Ukraine’s election commission said that 99.74 per cent of votes have been counted, however the final makeup of the Verkhovna Rada is still unclear as half of the deputies are chosen by a first-past-the-post constituency system.
The presidency said on the website that the Poroshenko Bloc has secured a total of 150 seats out of 450.