PARIS, April 15. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, will not be sending a group of observers to monitor the snap presidential election in Ukraine slated for May 25, a senior Russian lawmaker told an ITAR-TASS correspondent on Tuesday.
“We do not recognize the elections,” Leonid Slutsky, the head of the State Duma’s Committee on CIS Affairs, said.
A total of 23 people were registered by Ukraine’s Central Election Commission to run for the post of the country’s president.
Nine registered candidates were nominated by political parties. Thus, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was nominated by the Batkivshchyna (Fatherland) party, former Defense Minister Anatoly Gritsenko - by the Civil Position party, former Minister of Revenues and Duties Oleksandr Klimenko - by the Ukrainian People’s Party, former Minister of Social Policy Natalia Korolevskaya - by the Ukraine-Forward party, Vasily Kuibida - by the People’s Movement of Ukraine (Rukh), Oleh Lyashko - by the Radical Party, Petro Symonenko - by the Ukrainian Communist Party, Oleh Tyahnibok - by the Svoboda (Freedom) party, and Dmytro Yarosh - by the Right Sector radical party.
Other candidates, including tycoon Petro Poroshenko, are self-nominees. Poroshenko, however, can count on the support from Vitali Klitschko’s UDAR party, while Mykhailo Dobkin is backed by the Party of Regions.
Violent anti-government protests, which started in November 2013, when the country suspended the signing of an association agreement with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia, resulted in a coup in February 2014.
President Viktor Yanukovych had to leave Ukraine citing security concerns. New people were brought to power amid riots in Ukraine in February. The Verkhovna Rada, the country’s unicameral parliament, appointed its new speaker, Oleksandr Turchynov, as interim head of state and approved a new government led by Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the leader of the parliamentary faction of the Batkivshchyna party.
The Rada also set early presidential elections for May 25 and ruled to release from prison Yulia Tymoshenko, who had been jailed since 2011 for abuse of power over a 2009 gas deal with Russia that the then Ukrainian authorities said was unprofitable for the country.
Russia does not recognize the new authorities in Ukraine as legitimate.