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Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the non-recognition of elections in the occupied territories of Ukraine

Created: 2023.09.11 / Updated: 2023.09.11 15:24
    Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the non-recognition of elections in the occupied territories of Ukraine

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania strongly condemns the so-called “elections” of governors, regional legislatures, city and municipal councils, organized by the Russian government and its collaborators on 8-10 September in the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine – the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as in parts of Zaporizhzhya, Donetsk, Luhansk and Kherson regions.

    “This illegal step is another desperate attempt by the Kremlin to legitimize control of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, to give the illusion of a non-existent legitimacy, further grossly violating international law and Ukraine’s independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty, complementing the long list of crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine. The international community will never recognize the results of these fake elections. Furthermore, those who contribute to their organization must receive a strong and concrete response,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Landsbergis.

    Lithuania reiterates its consistent support for the Ukrainian people’s fight for their country’s freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity. It demands that Russia immediately withdraw its military forces and troops from Ukraine’s internationally recognized territory.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania also notes that the fake elections of governors, regional legislatures, and city and municipal councils held in the Russian Federation on 8-10 September took place in a context of ongoing and recently significantly strengthened restrictions on civil and political rights.

    “At a time when almost all representatives of the Russian opposition are jailed or subjected to other unprecedented repression, and when independent international observers have not monitored these fake elections, it is not possible to call the whole process “elections” and recognize their outcome as results,” Landsbergis said.

    Through the years of repressive application of laws on “extremist organizations”, “foreign agents”, “undesirable organizations”, and others, the Russian authorities have complemented that with harsh military censorship, stepped up internal repression and politically motivated persecution against opposition representatives, civil society organizations, independent media and others persons critical of the Kremlin regime’s policies. These actions further restrict human rights, freedom of the press, and civil and political freedoms, prevent many candidates from participating in elections and limit Russian voters’ choice and access to accurate information on candidates. These elections were also not monitored by independent international observers. All this raises serious doubts about their fairness, transparency and fairness of results.

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