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CEC official demands UN chief be informed about Ukraine denying Russians access to vote

According to Vasily Likhachev, it is necessary to use the potential of parliamentary diplomacy in this situation

MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. The Secretary-General of the United Nations should be informed about the situation in Ukraine, where Russian nationals were denied access to vote in the Russian presidential elections, Vasily Likhachev, a member of the Russian Central Election Commission (CEC) said on Sunday.

"I think it is extremely important to immediately inform the Secretary General of the United Nations, and the Council of Europe’s and OSCE human rights commissioners about this situation, and bring up this matter at all ongoing consultations between Moscow and Kiev, I mean contacts in the inter-ministerial and inter-agency formats," he said, adding he hoped the Russian foreign ministry would come out with a due statement.

According to Likhachev, it is necessary to use the potential of parliamentary diplomacy in this situation. "Our voice is heeded there, first of all at the Inter-Parliamentary Union," he said.

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov warned on March 16 that Russian nationals would be denied access to Russian diplomatic missions in Ukraine, namely in Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa and Lvov, on Sunday, Election Day in Russia.

Hundreds of Ukrainian security officers and policemen along with nationalists have been blocking access to the Russian Embassy in Kiev since Saturday night. They are checking passports and allow only diplomats into the building. Similar restrictions for Russian citizens have been reported outside Russian consulates-general in Odessa, Kharkov and Lvov. As a result, only diplomats and consular employees were able to take part in the voting.

According to the Russian Central Election Commission, as many as 72,000 Russian nationals eligible to vote are registered with Russia’s consular institutions.