Ukraine will not allow Russians to vote at Russian consulates - interior minister

Ukraine will not allow Russians to vote at Russian consulates - interior minister

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.

"The Ukrainian Interior Ministry reports that on Sunday, March 18, 2018, the security regime at the Russian Federation's diplomatic establishments on the territory of Ukraine, namely in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa and Lviv, will not envisage Russian citizens' access to these facilities to vote at the election... Only individuals with diplomatic status will have access to these institutions. Other individuals and citizens of Russia will not be allowed to enter diplomatic establishments on that day," reads the statement.

According to the statement, in order to avoid provocations and possible grave consequences on that day the units of the National Police and the National Guard will ensure the proper security of all diplomatic missions and institutions, as well as the adjoining territories, in accordance with the Vienna Convention.

In this regard, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry asks diplomats and citizens of Russia to obey the lawful requirements of Ukraine and not to provoke the situation, observe the order and laws of Ukraine.

The ministry recalled that according to Ukrainian Foreign Ministry note No. 610/23-110-236 of February 21, 2018, Ukraine had expressed a strong protest to the Russian Foreign Ministry and demanded that the Russian presidential election be not held on March 18, 2018 in Ukrainian territories temporarily occupied by Russia - the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol. The Foreign Ministry noted that the vote in the premises of Russian diplomatic and consular establishments on Ukrainian territory would be possible only if the Russian side fully complies with this requirement.

However, Russia has not currently abandoned its unlawful intentions, according to the Interior Ministry.

"In these circumstances, acknowledging Russia's aggressive hybrid war against Ukraine, illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the occupation of parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the holding of illegal elections on this sovereign Ukrainian territory in violation of all international law, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry has decided that it would be impossible to hold the election, which violates the laws of Ukraine on Ukrainian territory, on the territory of diplomatic establishments," the ministry said.

Russia's diplomatic establishments in Ukraine are located in four cities - Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa and Lviv.

On March 8, three Ukrainian nationalist organizations - Svoboda, National Corps and Right Sector - announced their intention to block Russian diplomatic establishments in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa and Lviv on March 18 in order to prevent the vote at the Russian presidential election on Ukrainian territory.


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