Ukraine Steps Up Security At Russian Facilities, Blocks Most Russians From Voting

Glen Norman
March 19, 2018

The ministry recalled that according to Ukrainian Foreign Ministry note No. 610/23-110-236 of February 21, 2018, Ukraine had expressed a strong protest to the Russian Foreign Ministry and demanded that the Russian presidential election be not held on March 18, 2018 in Ukrainian territories temporarily occupied by Russia - the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol.

A paramilitary nationalist group "National Squads" will not let Russian presidential polls to be held in Ukraine.

"Challenging borders by force is contrary to worldwide law, including commitments made by the Russian Federation", the French foreign ministry said in a statement.

Ukraine said Friday that Russians will be unable to vote in this Sunday's presidential election because access to Moscow's diplomatic missions will be blocked.

"France does not recognise the organisation 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.

Russia's diplomatic establishments in Ukraine are located in four cities - Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa and Lviv. "Other individuals and citizens of Russian Federation will not be allowed to enter diplomatic establishments on that day", reads the statement.

Ukraine has deemed the decision "illegal" prompting the ban on Russians from voting in Ukraine.

"The plans to strip Russians living in Ukraine of their right to vote under an invented pretext are a blatant violation of basic worldwide norms and Ukraine's obligations under multilateral and bilateral conventions and agreements", it said. Nauert blasted the 2014 referendum in Crimea as to whether the region should join Russian Federation.

"Together with the democratic worldwide community, we reiterate our call on Russian Federation to stop the occupation of Crimea and withdraw from its strategy of using force as a means of pursuing foreign policy".

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