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Russia should not hold its elections in Crimea

Date

16 Sep 2016

Sections

Europe's East

Ahead of the Russian parliamentary elections which are due to take place this Sunday, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group responsible for foreign affairs, and Jaromír Štětina MEP, Vice-Chair of the Parliament’s Subcommittee for Security and Defence, called on the Russian authorities to refrain from holding elections on the Crimean peninsula.

“We condemn the decision to have Russian parliamentary elections on Ukrainian territory. The Russian Federation is once again breaching international law by violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine. The European Parliament has called numerous times on Russia to respect Ukraine's sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity, the most recent Resolution on Crimea having been adopted in May 2016. Crimea is an integral part of Ukraine. Restoration of control by Ukraine over the peninsula is a pre-condition for the renewal of EU-Russia relations and the suspension of sanctions,” says Jacek Saryusz-Wolski.

“We appreciate that the OSCE monitoring mission will not conduct any operations in annexed territories. Russia is not only occupying part of Ukraine, but it is also severely violating the fundamental rights of every group opposing the annexation by Russia, especially the Crimean Tatars. Their situation is unbearable, they are subject to mistreatment and persecution by the Russian authorities. Their self-governing parliament - Milli Mejlis - has been pronounced illegal. The civil rights of Crimean Tatars need to be protected. This week our group decided to show support and solidarity with the Crimean Tatars and to nominate Mustafa Dzhemilev, leading representative of the Crimean Tatars and a former Soviet dissident, for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought,” added Jaromír Štětina.

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