All news

Russian official sees no legal grounds not to recognize elections in Crimea

A number of Western countries have been calling not to recognize Sunday’s elections to the Russian State Duma in Crimea
Russian parliamentary elections in Sevastopol, Crimea AP Photo/Maxin Voronov
Russian parliamentary elections in Sevastopol, Crimea
© AP Photo/Maxin Voronov

WARSAW, September 20. /TASS/. Calls by a number of Western countries not to recognize Sunday’s elections to the Russian State Duma lower parliament house in Crimea are groundless as the voting was held in full compliance with international law, Vasily Likhachev, a member of the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC), told TASS on Tuesday.

Likhachev took part in the annual OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting.

He said some of the meeting’s participants called to recognize Russia’s parliamentary elections illegitimate and "recognize lawmakers elected in two Russian constituent regions - the Republic of Crime and the city of Sevastopol - invalid."

"It was a political performance and its actors were simply working off the grants received from organizers of such campaigns, for instance, from political research centers of the United States and the European Union," Likhachev said.

"No sanctions or calls for non-recognition of these elections have any legal grounds. Crimea has all legal rights to vote, including under international standards of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)," he stressed. "We consider any pronouncements on the illegitimacy of the elections as unfriendly, immoral and running counter to the principles of international law and cooperation with Russia."

"From the point of view of the Russian constitution and basic principles of international law, respect of state sovereignty, territorial integrity and human rights, these elections are immaculate. And the fact that people in Crimea and Sevastopol took active and full-fledged part in the voting perfectly fits the logic of legal regulation and the present-day legal status," he noted.

According to Likhachev, among the topics for discussion at the Warsaw meeting were Russian elections. The discussion "demonstrated that the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and participants in forums held under its auspices are enchained by Russophobic ideas and moods," he said. "It speaks about a serious intellectual and politological crisis in Europe."

Elections to the State Duma, or Russia’s lower house of Parliament, were held on September 18 in a split system: 225 members of parliament were elected by party tickets, while the other 225 were elected in one-seat constituencies. On the same day, 39 Russian regions went to the polls to elect their legislative assemblies, direct elections of top officials took place in seven regions. Besides that, around 5,000 municipal elections were also held. The number of registered candidates for the upcoming elections at all levels, from federal to municipal, exceeded 103,000 office-seekers.