Ukraine on Saturday strongly condemned Russian plans to carry presidential elections subsequent spring on occupied territory, declaring them “null and void” and pledging to prosecute any observers despatched to watch them.
Russia’s higher home set the nation’s presidential election this week for subsequent March, and chairwoman Valentina Matviyenko mentioned residents in 4 occupied Ukrainian areas would be capable of vote for the primary time.
Russia claims to have annexed the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson areas within the east and south of Ukraine throughout referenda final yr dismissed by Kyiv and the West as a sham, however doesn’t absolutely management any of them.
It additionally seized the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
“We name on the worldwide neighborhood to resolutely condemn Russia’s intention to carry presidential elections within the occupied Ukrainian territories, and to impose sanctions on these concerned of their group and conduct,” Ukraine’s international ministry mentioned in an announcement.
It additionally warned nations in opposition to sending observers to the “pseudo-elections”, saying offenders would “face legal accountability”.
“Any election in Russia has nothing to do with democracy. They serve solely as a software to maintain the Russian regime in energy,” the ministry mentioned.
Russian President Vladimir Putin mentioned on Friday he would run for president once more, a transfer anticipated to maintain him in energy till at the least 2030.
REUTERS, TOE, AGENCIES