The European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament called on the European Union not to recognise the elections to the State Duma in Russia, emphasising that the Russian authorities held voting with blatant violations.
“What went on in Russia on 17-19 September was not elections. Russians were robbed of the possibility to have a say and freely choose their country’s destiny. The EPP Group calls on the EU and its Member States to not recognise this vote,” said Sandra Kalniete MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP Group in charge of Foreign Affairs, and Andrius Kubilius MEP, EPP Group Spokesman on Russia.
“Not allowing opposition candidates to run, persecuting free media, prohibiting the use of terminology of ‘smart voting,’ introducing three days of voting, not allowing international observers from the OSCE/ODHIR to come and observe the elections shows how afraid the Kremlin is of the Russian people,” the MEPs underlined.
According to them, numerous serious violations were reported during the three days of voting.
“The electronic voting system was utilised by the regime to shape the final voting outcomes, without any independent scrutiny, especially in Moscow electoral districts. The elections took place in an atmosphere of intimidation and silencing of any critical voices. And the result, which is a result of unprecedented tampering, appears to be substantially worse than in 2016. This severely weakens the legitimacy of Vladimir Putin’s rule,” Kalniete and Kubilius stressed.
They noted that what had taken place in Russia was totally different from what everybody could see in the different democratic countries, “including neighbouring Ukraine, where Ukrainian authorities are not afraid to hold transparent and fair elections.”
Meanwhile, the members of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by their resolution declared the elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation illegal and the formed State Duma of the Russian Federation illegitimate. In addition, the Verkhovna Rada called on the parliaments of foreign states and international parliamentary organisations to properly assess the rigged parliamentary elections in Russia, the facts of illegal voting in the illegally occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, and the participation of Ukrainian citizens residing in the areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions temporarily occupied by Russian in these elections.