Ukraine won't let Russians vote in presidential election

Ukraine won't let Russians vote in presidential election

Ukraine won't let Russians vote in presidential election

Four years following the illegal occupation of Crimea, the European Union reiterates its condemnation of Russia's violations of global law and strong commitment to Ukraine's territorial integrity.

"France does not recognize the organization of Russia's presidential election in Crimea today", it added as Russians vote in an election overshadowed by a furious row with Britain and its allies over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in England. As a result, polls will open in Crimea on Sunday to allow residents to vote in the Russia-wide ballot.

On March 18, 2014, a treaty on Crimea's reunification with Russia was signed by President Vladimir Putin, Russia's Federal Assembly approved the document on March 21.

Protests against the Russian presidential election in illegally annexed Crimea were held near Russian diplomatic establishments in Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv and Lviv on March 18.

"The Ministry of Internal Affairs appeals to diplomats and citizens of the Russian Federation with a request to obey the lawful demands of Ukraine - not to provoke a situation, to observe the order and laws of Ukraine", the minister said.

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Ukraine said the planned ban came as Russian Federation ignored a February request from the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry demanding that the March 18 election not be held on the Crimean Peninsula, which Russian Federation annexed in 2014 and which is viewed by Ukraine as "temporarily occupied territories".

Members of Ukrainian national groups were reported to have gathered on a street near the Russian Embassy in the Ukrainian capital.

Millions of ethnic Russians live in Ukraine, but it is unclear how many are registered to vote in Russia.

More than 40 worldwide observers from 20 countries of the world were accredited for the Crimea elections, including from Israel, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Cyprus, Norway, Denmark, Ukraine, France.

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