Published: Mon, March 19, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Crimea votes for first time in Russian elections

Crimea votes for first time in Russian elections

Ukraine has sent letters to the United Nations, protesting the Russian presidential election in Crimea scheduled for Sunday and urging the worldwide community to impose sanctions on the poll organizers, local media reported Saturday.

"Four years after the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and (the city of) Sevastopol, France remains firmly attached to the full restoration of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within internationally recognised borders", the French statement said.

"Together with the democratic global community, we reiterate our call on Russian Federation to stop the occupation of Crimea and withdraw from its strategy of using force as a means of pursuing foreign policy".

"Challenging borders by force is contrary to worldwide law, including commitments made by the Russian Federation", the French foreign ministry said in a statement.

Only diplomats will have access to Russian diplomatic institutions in Ukraine during the Russian presidential election on March 18, whereas other individuals and Russian citizens will not be permitted to enter diplomatic institutions, according to a statement by the Ukrainian Interior Ministry due to the Russian presidential election scheduled for March 18, which Interior Minister Arsen Avakov posted on his Facebook page. That's the day when the Agreement on Crimea's and Sevastopol's joining of Russian Federations was signed. The "staged referendum", as Nauert put it, remains controversial as Russian troops were occupying the peninsula at the time and few global observers were present.

"The participation of Latvian citizens, and the use of the name and symbols of Latvia in such events is inconsistent with the foreign policy position of Latvia and is unacceptable".

Consequently there are only "very limited possibilities for offering consular assistance in emergency situations" to Latvians who might wind up in the occupied territories for whatever reason, the Ministry added.

Al Jazeera's Rory Challands reports from Crimea.

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