France 'does not recognise' Russian vote in Crimea

France 'does not recognise' Russian vote in Crimea

Nauert's comments came after Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at a rally in Crimea, where he reportedly hailed the annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine, proclaiming that "Crimea returned home".

"On Sunday, March 18, 2018, security arrangements for Russia's Ukraine-based diplomatic missions in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, and Lviv will not provide access to these facilities for Russian nationals voting in the election", Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Facebook. Only those who hold diplomatic passports would be allowed in the buildings, Avakov warned.

Moscow's Foreign Ministry responded by criticizing what it called Ukrainian "overt interference in the internal affairs of the Russian Federation".

Avakov said that, on the day of the vote, only Russian diplomats would be allowed to enter the embassy in Kiev and Russia's consulates in the major Ukrainian cities of Kharkiv, Odessa and Lviv.

The State Department condemned on Wednesday what it called Russia's "campaign of coercion and violence" in Crimea, just days before the four-year anniversary of Moscow annexing the disputed peninsula. According to Article 81 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, a candidate for president must be at least 35 years old and has to have permanently resided in Russia for the past 10 years, and can not serve more than two terms consecutively.

The Foreign Ministry also welcomes the decision by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and other worldwide partners not to participate in monitoring the illegal electoral process in the occupied Crimea and Sevastopol.

The ministry also reminded Kiev that even at the lowest points of Russia-Ukraine relations, Moscow never infringed on the rights of Ukrainian citizens to take part in parliamentary and presidential elections, including in votes that brought the current Ukrainian administration to power.

Russian citizens overseas will also have an opportunity to cast their ballots in the Russian presidential election Sunday, in 400 polling stations in 145 countries, including Israel, Abkhazia, Belarus, Germany, Greece, Spain and Uzbekistan.

Ukraine also called on other countries, including European Union states and Turkey, not to accept the results of the presidential election in Crimea and introduce sanctions against those involved in their organization.

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