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MOSCOW, March 20. /ITAR-TASS/. The referendum held in Crimea on March 16 met international democratic principles and became “direct expression of the will of people,” members of the Russian Public Chamber and Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights and public chambers in Russian constituent entities said in a joint statement made public at the website of the presidential council on Thursday.
“The referendum was held with international democratic principles of demonstrating people’s initiative observed. Participation of people in the referendum was voluntary and free. No one exerted pressure on people to make them participate or prevent from participating in the referendum. Cases of obstructing free expression of will by people were not reported,” the document reads.
National and international observers were monitoring the referendum, universally recognized principles and norms of international law were observed, the statement runs.
Meanwhile, members of the Presidential Council of Human Rights and Public Chamber noted, “People participated in the referendum on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage, each participant in the referendum had the right for one vote.” Ballot count and summarizing of referendum results was “open”, in their view.
“The Crimean referendum held on March 16, 2014 became direct expression of the will of people that have the right for self-determination according to the UN Charter,” observers added.
According to final referendum results, 96.77% of Crimean residents participating in the referendum voted for Crimea’s reunification with Russia. As many as 95.6% of local residents participating in the plebiscite supported Sevastopol’s accession to Russia.