US welcomes delay of 'illegal' polls by Ukraine rebels

People hold pictures of their relatives captuted by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine as they rally in front of the Ukrainian Parliament in Kiev on October 6, 2015The United States welcomed the delay Tuesday of disputed “illegal” elections by pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine, and noted that Kiev, Moscow and the rebels had begun withdrawing heavy weapons. The decision to push back the polls to 2016 in line with Western demands was also welcomed by Kiev’s pro-EU leadership and the Kremlin — one of the few times the ex-Soviet neighbors have agreed on anything since the Ukraine conflict erupted. “The United States welcomes reports that Russia-backed separatists postponed another round of illegal elections in eastern Ukraine,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said at the start of his daily briefing with reporters.

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