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French expert slams European Parliament’s pressure on observers of Crimea polls

On Thursday, the European Parliament called on the EU to tighten its policy towards Russia

SEVASTOPOL, September 17. / TASS /. The Head of the French delegation to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), Michel Voisin, who came to Crimea to monitor Russia’s parliamentary elections, castigated the EP’s pressure put on foreign experts.

On Thursday, the European Parliament called on the EU to tighten its policy towards Russia. According to its report, the EU must reject Russia’s ‘illegal elections’ in Crimea and in the ‘occupied’ Ukraine’s Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Furthermore, the document stipulates sanctions on international observers of Crimea’s polls.

"The EU put pressure even on us, the EP’s members, the French parliament. We were urged not to come. I believe, this is simply unacceptable, everyone has the right, if they want, to come, get acquainted with the process, see that everything is going well here," the French parliamentarian stated on Friday in Sevastopol.

Voisin emphasized his extensive experience in monitoring Russian polls. "I have been attending various Russian elections as an observer for a long time. This is my 20th visit to Russia, and every time I see how the elections are held, and everything meets the requirements," the French expert mentioned.

International standards

According to Voisin, the observing of the polls in Russia has approached international standards. He noted that the online monitoring system at polling stations was a "pleasant surprise" for him. Another French expert, Jerome Lambert, mentioned that the legislative elections in Crimea are being held in a calm, open atmosphere.

The Serbian Secretary of the Economic and Social Council, Dusan Petrovic, also pointed out the high level of anti-coronavirus measures during the polls in Sevastopol. "<…> Everyone wore masks, disinfected hands and observed social distancing," he said.

From September 17 to 19, the 2021 parliamentary elections are taking place in Sevastopol as well as by-elections to the city legislature and local polls. Overall, there are 180 precinct election commissions and six temporary polling sites in hospitals and military units. Sevastopol has 326,500 eligible voters.