Ukraine condemns Russian plan to carry ‘election’ in occupied territory | EUROtoday

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Ukraine on Saturday condemned Russian plans to carry presidential elections inoccupied territory subsequent 12 months.

Declaring such an election “null and void”, the Ukrainian overseas ministry threatened to prosecute any worldwide observer despatched to watch the poll.

Russia’s higher home has set the date for the nation’s subsequent presidential for 17 March subsequent 12 months, although the result’s already a foregone conclusion with there being little organised political opposition left within the nation.

President Vladimir Putin will run for president once more, he introduced on Friday at a stage-managed Kremlin awards ceremony the place conflict veterans pleaded with him to hunt re-election.

“I won’t hide it from you – I had various thoughts about it over time, but now, you’re right, it’s necessary to make a decision,” Mr Putin mentioned in a video launched by the Kremlin after the occasion.

“I will run for president of the Russian Federation.”

The 71-year-old autocrat has been in energy since 1999, bar a four-year stint as prime minister below Dmitry Medvedev, throughout which he was broadly regarded to nonetheless be on the helm of the Kremlin.

The chair of Russia’s higher home, Valentina Matviyenko, declared that residents in 4 occupied Ukrainian areas would be capable to vote for the primary time.

“We call on the international community to resolutely condemn Russia’s intention to hold presidential elections in the occupied Ukrainian territories, and to impose sanctionson those involved in their organisation and conduct,” Ukraine’s overseas ministry responded.

“Any election in Russia has nothing to do with democracy. They serve solely as a device to maintain the Russian regime in energy.”

Russia claims to have annexed the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson areas within the east and south of Ukraine in September final 12 months. In actuality it solely controls components of them.

It illegally seized the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

Mr Putin subsequently launched martial legislation in these areas, and Russian lawmakers amended rules to permit elections in territories the place martial legislation was in place. Russian authorities held elections within the annexed areas in September for Moscow-installed legislatures; Ukraine and its Western allies denounced the votes as a sham.

On Thursday, the top of Russia’s Central Election Commission, Ella Pamfilova, mentioned that along with the Russian army, safety forces and the Moscow-appointed governors in Ukraine, election authorities would determine by 12 December on “the possibility of holding” the presidential vote within the Ukrainian areas.

“After weighing in all pros and cons, we will be making this decision. If we decide (to hold the vote), then the next step would be to adopt a plan for holding elections there,” Ms Pamfilova was quoted by the Interfax information company as saying. “Of course, [while] it will be somewhat different from the balloting in Russian regions, the law allows for it.”

Additional reporting by companies