The Foreign Office of Ukraine has articulated its resolute protest against the parliamentary elections that have been illegally organized and held by Russia in Crimea. It has also condemned the forceful involvement of Ukrainian citizens of the ORDLO in the elections.  The Foreign Office regards the organization and holding of the illegal voting as continuous gross violations by Russia of the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state. By such actions Russia blatantly violates the fundamental principles and norms of international law, its commitments to international agreements the participants of which are Ukraine and Russia, as well as the legislation of Ukraine. Russia’s actions run counter to the Charter of the United Nations and other international treaties.

The Foreign Office of Ukraine calls on foreign countries and international organizations to resolutely condemn the illegal actions of the Russian Federation and clearly state their decision not to recognize the results of the parliamentary elections held in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and declare illegal the Duma formed in such way. The Foreign Office of Ukraine calls to increase political and diplomatic pressure on the Russian Federation particularly by imposing on it more sanctions.

The Council for national security and defense of Ukraine has announced the full range of available sanctions against Russia for conducting elections to the State Duma in Crimea and Donbas and attracting Ukrainian citizens of these territories to participation in the parliamentary elections. Oleksiy Danylov, the secretary of the Council, made public this decision at a briefing that was held on September 17.

Two days later, Fedir Venislavsky, the presidential representative at the Constitutional Court and a member of the parliamentary committee on national security and defense, declared that next week the Verkhovna Rada was going to pass a resolution requesting the international community not to recognize the new composition of the State Duma of the Russian Federation. Venislavsky stressed, “Our parliament will certainly react next week and I’m convinced that we will pass one more resolution appealing to the international community concerning the illegitimacy of the newly-elected State Duma.”

In the meantime, the European Union spokesperson Peter Stano declared that the bloc’s member-countries would never recognize the results of the Russian parliamentary elections in the annexed Crimea. Peter Stano said this at a press briefing in Brussels on Monday, September 20.

"We will never recognize the elections in illegally annexed Crimea because Crimea is Ukraine. We are also concerned by the fact that citizens of Ukraine and population from Ukrainian territories in the east, which are currently not under the control of the legitimate Ukrainian government, have been given [Russian] passports in order to participate in these Russian elections. This runs counter to the spirit of the Minsk agreements, and this runs counter to the objectives of the Minsk agreements. We call on Russia and we expect Russia to refrain from actions that go against the commitments stemming from the Minsk agreements," Stano said.

Yuri Butusov, a Ukrainian journalist and public figure, wrote, “For the first time, the Kremlin has announced Donbas citizens Russian electors and stimulated them to vote by bringing them by vehicles to polling stations in the Russian Federation and handing Russian passports to voters. At the same time, it did not dare to announce the accession of Donbas to the Russian Federation. In fact, the Kremlin has turned the occupied areas of Donbas into the second Pridnestrovie (Transnistria) or an unrecognized Russian territory citizens of which are used as the human resource for conducting war against Ukraine in Donbas and as the workforce in the Russian Federation.” 

Butusov holds an opinion that Putin has actually broken the Minsk agreements because now no peace talks are possible and only an armed resistance and effective military reforms are needed to stop the Russian scenario against Ukraine.

Photo: ORDLO residents were taken by special buses to the Russian territory to participate in the parliamentary elections there.

The newspaper Voice of Ukraine