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OSCE and EU monitors refuse to go to Crimea to observe 2018 vote, peninsula’s leader says

December 25, 2017, 19:15 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL

The Russian presidential election on March 18, 2018 will be the first for Crimea and the city of Sevastopol that reunited with Russia in 2014

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SIMFEROPOL, December 25. /TASS/. The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the EU monitoring mission have refused to send observers to monitor the Russian presidential election in Crimea because they do not want to acknowledge its legitimacy, Crimean leader Sergey Aksyonov told reporters on Monday.

Earlier, the Izvestia reported citing the OSCE’s ODIHR and the EU monitoring mission that they won’t send observers to Crimea to monitor the Russian presidential election slated for March 2018.

"They don’t want to accept its legitimacy, they understand that we will do everything in line with the law, and then, if they do come, they will have to recognize that everything was done under the law," Aksyonov explained.

The Crimean leader expressed confidence that the election would be held in an open and candid manner on the peninsula, in line with the legislation.

"Everything is open and transparent here. I am sure the election will be held in Crimea fully in accordance with federal legislation," he stressed.

The Russian presidential election on March 18, 2018 will be the first for Crimea and the city of Sevastopol that reunited with Russia in 2014.

Crimea’s reunification with Russia

Following the February 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev, the authorities of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol held a referendum on March 16, 2014, on reunifying with Russia after 60 years under the rule of Ukraine. More than 80% of registered voters came to the polls and of that number, 96.7% in Crimea and 95.6% in Sevastopol voted in favor of reunification.

On March 18, 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty on the accession of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol to the Russian Federation, and both houses of Russian parliament ratified it on March 21. Kiev refuses to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.

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