PACE delegate issues statement on Russian Duma elections in Crimea, criticizes new Parliament composition
The new composition of the Russian Parliament cannot provide a "good future" for the country, that’s according to Austria’s Stefan Schennach, head of the Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), who commented on the results of elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Deutsche Welle reported.
The official recalled that the Russian authorities had not invited the PACE monitoring mission to observe the parliamentary elections. "But we already know the results, and they mean no good future for Russia," said Schennach.
According to the PACE official, the fact that "only one real opposition politician won the elections to the State Duma is not normal."
Schennach also said that PACE "does not accept the elections" which took place in the territory of the Russian-annexed Crimea. "If we can not enter the territory of Crimea and prepare a report, then, I am sorry, no one can recognize what has taken place there," the official said. He also recalled that, as the Chairman of the Monitoring Committee, he had filed an appeal to the Russian authorities to allow the PACE mission to visit Crimea but he had never received a reply.
Read alsoWashington not to recognize Russia’s pseudo-elections in occupied Crimea – U.S. State DepartmentThe head of the PACE Monitoring Committee evaded a direct answer to the question, what would the Assembly do in case the new State Duma delegation included MPs elected in the territory of Crimea. "This is a very hypothetical question because now the Russian delegation has not yet been formed, and I do not want to pluck my judgement from stars," said Schennach.
As UNIAN reported earlier, elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation were held September 18. The voting also took place in the territory of the temporarily occupied Crimea.
Read alsoRussian embassy in Kyiv attacked with firecrackers overnightAhead of the elections, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry protested the Russian intention to hold elections in Crimea and Sevastopol. Also in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine stated that in this regard, holding of elections in the premises of diplomatic and consular missions of the Russian Federation in Ukraine was impossible.