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Foreign Ministry slams Ukraine’s refusal to grant access to Russian voters as illegal

March 18, 12:50 UTC+3

Kiev authorities had started intimidating Russian citizens long before the March 18 election, the diplomat noted

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© Mikhail Tereschenko/TASS

MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. Ukraine’s denial of access for Russian citizens to the ballot stations during the presidential election is absolutely illegal, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

The Kiev authorities had started intimidating Russian citizens long before the March 18 election, disseminating reports about the upcoming provocations and violence at the polling stations in Russia’s diplomatic missions, the diplomat noted.

However, when it was obvious that Russian nationals would go to the polls, the Kiev authorities resorted to unprecedented measures, announcing plans of blocking access for Russians at the ballot stations, she said.

"The Russian citizens, who planned to cast their votes in Ukraine, see with their own eyes what is happening there. That’s why their choice would be obvious. This result of the expression of will would never satisfy the Kiev authorities," the diplomat stressed.

"That’s why the regime stonewalled the Russian citizens’ participation in the voting brazenly and illegally," she noted.

Ukrainian nationalists announced on March 8 that they would disrupt the voting at the polling stations in Russia’s diplomatic missions in Ukraine.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said that Russian nationals would be denied access to Russian diplomatic missions in Ukraine, namely in Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa and Lvov, on Sunday, the presidential election day in Russia.

Hundreds of members of Ukrainian security agencies and nationalists have been blocking access to the Russian Embassy in Kiev since Saturday night. They are checking passports and allow only diplomats into the building. Similar restrictions for Russian citizens have been reported outside consulates-general in Odessa, Kharkov and Lvov.

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