The upcoming elections in two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine have been denounced as “illegitimate” by eight European countries.

The countries, which included United Nations Security Council members Britain, France, Poland, Netherlands and Sweden, said the votes would “violate Ukrainian law”. And they called on Russia to “bring its considerable influence to bear to stop the ‘elections’ from taking place.”

“We condemn the illegitimate ‘elections’ planned for 11 November in the non-government-controlled territories of the so-called ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’ and ‘Donetsk People’s Republic,’” they added in a statement.

As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), Italy, which held a rotating Security Council seat last year, signed the statement as well, along with Belgium and Germany, which will sit on the UN’s highest body in January.

“We urge the separatists to abandon the plans for ‘elections,’” the statement added, saying “Russia must play its part by ending its financial and military support to the separatists and withdrawing its armed forces and military equipment from Ukrainian territory”.

According to AFP, the two separatist entities have said they will hold an election to choose a new leader to replace pro-Russian strongman Alexander Zakharchenko, who was killed in a bomb attack at a Donetsk cafe in August.