RF MFA: Russia forced to withdraw from the dispatch of observers to Ukraine, in order not to expose them there is the threat of deliberate persecution

МИД РФ: Россия вынуждена отказаться от направления наблюдателей на Украину, дабы не подвергать их там угрозе заведомого преследования

The Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation stated that “discriminatory steps” of the Ukrainian authorities deprived the Russian experts the possibility to take part in the observation mission of Office for democratic institutions and human rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE. This is stated on the website of the foreign Ministry.

The Ministry recalled that the Central election Commission of Ukraine of March 20, denied OSCE / ODIHR registration of Russian citizens by the voters in the presidential election.

“In the current conditions Russia has to refuse to send observers to Ukraine, in order not to expose them there is the threat of deliberate persecution. Their actions Kiev again discredited. Grossly violated the letter and spirit of the Copenhagen document and other OSCE commitments in the field of elections”, – stated in the message.

The foreign Ministry recalled that the Ukrainian authorities decided not to open polling stations at their diplomatic missions in Russia, “which deprived the constitutional voting rights of millions of citizens of Ukraine”.

“Judging by what we already see today in Ukraine, Kiev clearly has something to hide from their populations and from the international community. We intend to continue to monitor closely the progress of the election campaign in Ukraine and to work closely with ODIHR and other OSCE Executive structures, which are designed to monitor the situation with democracy and human rights in the country and promote respect for them,” – said the Russian Ministry.

There expressed the hope that ODIHR on the results of the Ukrainian elections will provide the international community with “objective, reliable and fair picture, without regard to political leanings and not afraid to cause a negative reaction protected the West Ukrainian authorities.”

On 28 February came into force the law passed February 7, according to which the representatives of Russia not allowed to be election observers in Ukraine. The document amends the laws “On elections of President of Ukraine”, “On elections of people’s deputies of Ukraine”, “On local elections”, according to which an official observer from foreign States and international organizations may not be the person who is a citizen of the state, recognized by the Verkhovna Rada by the aggressor state or the state-occupier. The prohibition applies to persons, which initiated or made by the aggressor state.

February 8, the ODIHR announced that it will exclude the Russians from the list of observers at elections in Ukraine. After that, Russia said that it had decided not to send observers to elections in Ukraine “security reasons”.

On 13 February, the Russian foreign Ministry reported that Russia intends to send nominations to the short-term OSCE mission for monitoring the presidential elections in Ukraine (monitoring only on election day).

Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin said that the Russian observers will not be able to monitor the Ukrainian elections.

Presidential elections in Ukraine scheduled for 31 March 2019. The election campaign started on 31 December 2018. On 8 March, the CEC approved the final list of 39 candidates for the presidency.