MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. The Kiev authorities are carrying out provocations in the run-up to the election to the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament), including sending letters to various countries, demanding that they do not send observers to monitor the vote, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday at a meeting with representatives of national and cultural associations.
"I know that many provocations are being carried out through Ukraine. I learned that they [the Kiev authorities] had sent demands to all countries that ambassadors go to government officials and insist that they do not send observers to our election. According to the information that I have, that was done in Belarus as well. It’s funny, you know. What do Russia’s election and Ukraine have to do with that?" he said.
He noted that Kiev’s arguments about the electoral process in Crimea and Donbass did not hold water. "The Crimea issue is closed, we explained everything to everyone a long time ago, and everyone understood everything, including the Ukrainian leaders themselves, I am certain," Lavrov explained. He stressed that Donbass residents with Russian passports were entitled to vote "wherever they live."
According to Russia’s top diplomat, Ukraine will take advantage of the fact many in the West are looking for an excuse to step up pressure on Russia, and more attempts to irritate Moscow will follow.
Election in Russia
On June 17, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order on holding the vote to the State Duma of the eighth convocation on Election Day, September 19, 2021. The election will run for three days on September 17, 18 and 19. In addition to the State Duma race, direct voting to elect the heads of nine Russian constituent entities and 39 regional parliaments will be held. In three more regions, the top officials will be elected by legislative assemblies.