Published: Mon, March 19, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Russians in Ukraine to be blocked from voting in presidential poll: Kiev

Russians in Ukraine to be blocked from voting in presidential poll: Kiev

"Challenging borders by force is contrary to worldwide law, including commitments made by the Russian Federation", the French foreign ministry said in a statement.

However, with the amendments to Russian law, the government made a decision to hold elections on the fourth anniversary of Crimea annexation - March 18, 2018.

Russia's presidential election is scheduled for Sunday, and there are eight candidates running this year: Sergey Baburin from the All-People's Union party, Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin, incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin, Civil Initiative party candidate Ksenia Sobchak, Communists of Russia party chairman Maxim Suraykin, Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs' Rights Boris Titov, co-founder of the Yabloko party Grigory Yavlinsky, and head of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

More than 40 worldwide observers from 20 countries, including from Israel, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Cyprus, Norway, Denmark and Ukraine, will cover the presidential election in Crimea.

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"The Ukrainian Interior Ministry reports that on Sunday, March 18, 2018, the security regime at the Russian Federation's diplomatic establishments on the territory of Ukraine, namely in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa and Lviv, will not envisage Russian citizens' access to these facilities to vote at the election. The Embassy, in its turn, will take measures to keep overseas polling stations open in Ukraine on the election day", the statement read.

"Four years after the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and (the city of) Sevastopol, France remains firmly attached to the full restoration of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within internationally recognised borders", the French statement said.

Chairman of Crimea's election commission Mikhail Malyshev earlier said that the worldwide observers come from Austria, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Spain, Italy, Lebanon, Pakistan, Malaysia, Serbia, Ukraine, Finland, France and Sweden. The Foreign Ministry noted that the vote in the premises of Russian diplomatic and consular establishments on Ukrainian territory would be possible only if the Russian side fully complies with this requirement.

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