Poland says Russian election was 'not legal, free and fair'
The Polish foreign ministry’s building in Warsaw. Photo: gov.pl

Poland says Russian election was ‘not legal, free and fair’

Poland’s foreign ministry has questioned the legitimacy of a presidential vote held in Russia from Friday to Sunday, saying the election was “not legal, free and fair.” It is reported by Upmp.news with reference to “Polskie Radio”.

President Vladimir Putin overwhelmingly won Russia’s election, securing another six-year term in office and cementing his already tight grip on power, news agencies reported on Monday.

“On 15-17 March 2024, Russia held a so-called presidential election; the voting took place amid harsh repression against society, preventing it from making a free, democratic choice,” the Polish foreign ministry said in a statement.

It added: “In breach of international law, the ‘election’ was conducted also on temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine: in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, as well as in the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson Oblasts.”

Other regions where the vote was held included Moldova’s Transnistria and Georgia’s Tskhinvali/South Ossetia and Abkhazia, according to the Polish foreign ministry.

“Such an ‘election’ may not be considered legal, free and fair,” it stated on Sunday.

“Since the start of war in Ukraine, Russia’s authorities have considerably stepped up their repression against political opposition, civil society, non-governmental organisations, and independent media, as well as all citizens brave enough to criticise the actions of Russia’s regime, including its aggression against Ukraine,” the Polish foreign ministry said in its statement.

“The devastating news about the death of Alexei Navalny, an opposition leader, in a penal colony was the tragic culmination of that activity,” it added.

“In view of Russia’s successive implementation of repressive law, limiting the citizens’ rights and freedoms, including political ones, along with war censorship, politically motivated prosecutions, and rejection of anti-war candidates, the ‘election’ may not be considered free and fair,” the statement reiterated.

The Polish foreign ministry also said that “Poland offers its unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within the country’s internationally recognised borders.”

It demanded that Russia “immediately and unconditionally withdraw its troops and weapons” from Ukraine.

“In addition, we reiterate our call for Russia’s authorities to immediately release all political prisoners illegally detained in Russia,” the Polish foreign ministry said.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, starting the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II.

Monday is day 754 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters, gov.pl