The Outer

Ukraine refuses to hold Russian presidential elections in its occupied territories

By Manal Abdel Fattah

Today, Ukraine announced its refusal to hold Russian presidential elections on “temporarily occupied” Ukrainian territory, stressing that organizing them is “illegal.”

The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement distributed by the Kiev Embassy in Cairo, referred to preparations for organizing Russian elections in Ukrainian territory that Moscow illegally annexed.

The Russian presidential elections will begin on Friday and conclude on Sunday, coinciding with the continuation of the Russian-Ukrainian war since February 2022.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry stated that Russia’s holding of presidential elections in the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye, Kherson, Crimea and the city of Sevastopol is “illegal.”

The statement stressed that “forcing millions of Ukrainian citizens residing in temporarily occupied territories or forcibly present on Russian territory to participate in the so-called elections is also illegal.”

He added: “In addition to the lack of any evidence that the electoral campaign in the Russian Federation complies with democratic principles and internationally accepted electoral standards, and the Russian authorities’ elimination of opponents, there are doubts about the impartiality and legitimacy of the results of these alleged elections.”

The statement called on “Ukrainians living in the temporarily occupied territories or forcibly present on Russian territory not to participate” in these elections.

The Ministry confirmed that Ukraine called on foreign countries and international organizations not to send international observers to the elections organized by the Kremlin, especially to the sovereign territory of Ukraine, and not to recognize the results of the elections.

The statement warned violators of Ukrainian laws to be subject to legal accountability.

There are ballot boxes in the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, and in the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporozhye, which Moscow annexed in 2022.

On September 30, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a document annexing the four Ukrainian regions, amid widespread rejection and condemnation from the West.

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