Pro-autonomy militias in Ukraine's Lugansk and Donetsk regions have decided against postponing a May 11 referendum on the regions' status.
"The referendum will not be postponed," Alexiy Chmylenko, leader of the so-called “Lugansk self-defense forces", told Interfax on Thursday, adding that such a decision had been adopted by the "people's assembly of the self-proclaimed Lugansk People's Republic".
The "people's assembly of the Donetsk People's Republic" also has decided against postponing a referendum on the region's status, set for May 11, the co-chairman of the "Donetsk People's Republic government" Miroslav Rudenko, told Interfax over the phone.
"The referendum will be held on May 11," he said.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on representatives of the southeastern regions of Ukraine to postpone the referendum scheduled for May 11.
"We are asking representatives of the southeastern regions of Ukraine and supporters of federalization to reschedule the referendum scheduled for May 11," Putin said at a press conference after a meeting with Swiss President and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Chairperson-in-Office Didier Burkhalter.
Putin said Russia calls on representatives of the southeastern regions of Ukraine to do this "to create the conditions needed for dialogue" with the Kiev administration.
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