KIEV, September 17. /TASS/. Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council has imposed sanctions against the voting organizers at Russia’s parliamentary elections in Crimea and the self-proclaimed republics in Donbass, the Council’s secretary Alexei Danilov said on Friday.
"Most of the sanctions imposed by the National Security and Defense Council apply to the individuals involved in the organization and holding of the elections to the Russian State Duma (lower parliament house — TASS) in Crimea and Donbass <…>. No one has the right to hold elections in these territories. The sanctions cover members of the election commission, candidate, canvassing campaign activists, and observers," he said.
According to Danilov, the sanctions are to be applied against 53 members of the territorial election commission, 33 competitors for seats in the State Duma, and seven officials "directly involved" in the organization of the voting. Concrete names will be disclosed in a decree to be signed by the Ukrainian president within days.
Danilov also warned about possible sanctions against foreign observers monitoring the elections in Crimea. "We know that a number of French, Venezuelan, Serbian, and other countries’ nationals plan to arrive in this territory as observers. I would like to stress once again: all of them will be under our sanctions, no matter whether they enjoy diplomatic or other immunity or not," he said.
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with special status on the Crimean Peninsula, where most residents are Russian, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014.
Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. They held a referendum on March 16, 2014, in which 96.7% of Crimeans and 95.6% of Sevastopol voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the reunification treaties on March 18, 2014. The documents were ratified by Russia’s Federal Assembly, or bicameral parliament, on March 21.
Despite the overwhelming results of the referendum, Ukraine still refuses to recognize Crimea as part of Russia.
On July 20, Russia’s Central Election Commission allowed residents of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) who have Russian passports to take part in the elections to the Russian State Duma in the online format. They can also take part in the voting offline at polling stations in Russia’s southern Rostov region.
DPR and LPR residents were given a possibility to obtain Russian citizenship in a simplified procedure by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree of April 24, 2019.
As of April 2021, there were 538,000 Russian nationals in the Donbass republics and up to one million DPR and LPR residents are expected to receive Russian passports by the yearend, according to Viktor Volodatsky, deputy head of the State Duma committee for the CIS affairs, Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots.