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EU criticises Russian "elections": no opposition, lots of restrictions, and voting in occupied Ukrainian territories

Monday, 18 March 2024, 12:39
EU criticises Russian elections: no opposition, lots of restrictions, and voting in occupied Ukrainian territories
Josep Borrell. Photo: EEAS.EUROPA.EU

The European Union has criticised the "presidential elections" in Russia, which were subject to numerous restrictions, saw no participation of real opposition candidates, and included votes cast in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

Source: European Pravda, citing Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Details: Borrell noted that the "elections" took place under a "highly restricted environment", as the Russian authorities continued systemic repression of opposition figures, civil society organisations, and independent media outlets in the leadup to them. Specifically, many opponents ended up behind bars due to politically motivated court verdicts, and imprisoned opposition figure Alexei Navalny died in custody shortly before the elections.


Reportedly, under such conditions, many potential candidates did not even attempt to run for office, and Russians accordingly had no real choice.

On behalf of the EU, Borrell expressed regret that Russia did not invite OSCE observers.

He also strongly condemned the holding of elections in the occupied territories of Ukraine, yet another violation of international law by Russia.


Quote from Borrell: "The European Union reiterates that it does not and will never recognise either the holding of these so-called ‘elections’ in the territories of Ukraine or their results. They are null and void and cannot produce any legal effect whatsoever. Russia’s political leadership and those involved in organising them will face [the] consequences of these illegal actions."

Details: The statement also mentions that the EU "will continue to support the important work of Russian civil society organisations, human rights defenders and independent media".


  • Several Eastern European countries and the UK have stated that the Russian "elections" cannot be considered free and fair, and the UK Minister of Defence has compared Putin to Stalin.

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