Ukraine has called on international partners to put more pressure on the Russian Federation over "local elections" in occupied Crimea.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine expresses its resolute protest against the so-called 'local elections' held by the Russian Federation on September 8, 2019, to institutions illegally established by the Russian occupying administration in the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol," the ministry said in a statement on September 8.
"New violations of international law by the Russian Federation prove the necessity of strengthening, rather than only maintaining, international political and economic pressure on the Russian Federation aimed at restoring Ukraine's territorial integrity, including by restrictive measures related to the occupation of Crimea. Any steps to ease the sanctions-based pressure, the so-called 'normalization and building dialogue' like the unconditional restoration of Russian activities in the PACE [Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe] would only assure the occupying power in its impunity and encourage it to commit new violations," it said.
The ministry calls upon international partners to take a strong stance towards Russian illegal actions on organizing and holding the so-called "local elections" in the temporarily occupied Crimea and prevent contacts on the national and regional levels with illegal institutions of the Russian occupying administration and its representatives. It also urges to step up efforts aimed at stopping the occupation of Crimea, it said.
According to the ministry, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol are temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and their legal regime is defined by international humanitarian law, the ministry said. One of the principal obligations of the occupying power is to respect national legislation of the sovereign power, namely Ukraine.
"The so-called 'local elections' constitute flagrant violation of the Constitution and laws of Ukraine as well as of the basic norms and principles of international law, enshrined in particular the UN Charter, the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of August 12, 1949, the Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe of August 1, 1975, the Memorandum on Security Assurances in connection with Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of December 5, 1994, the United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 'Territorial Integrity of Ukraine' of March 27, 2014, 'Situation of Human Rights in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, Ukraine' of 2016-2018, as well as of the number of international agreements to which Ukraine and Russia are parties," the ministry said.
"Results of this illegal voting are null and void, they will have no legal consequences whatsoever. Neither Ukraine nor the international community will recognize them. All those responsible for organization and conduct of the illegal voting in the temporarily occupied Crimea will be held accountable according to the Ukrainian legislation," it said.
*** On September 8, there was a single voting day in Russia, where more than 5,000 polls were held at various levels.