“The September 17-19 Duma elections in the Russian Federation took place under conditions not conducive to free and fair proceedings,” reads the statement by the U.S. Department of State, Ukrinform reports.
As noted, the Russian government’s use of laws on “extremist organizations,” “foreign agents,” and “undesirable organizations” severely restricted political pluralism and prevented the Russian people from exercising their civil and political rights. In addition, Russian government made widespread efforts to marginalize independent political figures, prevented the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and its Parliamentary Assembly from observing the elections, constricting transparency that is essential to fair elections.
“These actions contradict Russia’s obligations, including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as its commitments to the OSCE and other international and regional bodies,” reads the statement.
The United States called upon Russia to honor its international obligations to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to end its pressure campaign on civil society, the political opposition, and independent media.
“Furthermore, we do not recognize holding elections for the Russian Duma on sovereign Ukrainian territory and reaffirm our unwavering support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine,” the U.S. Department of State underscored.
As reported, voting in the Russian State Duma elections took place on September 17-19. On September 15, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling on the EU to be ready not to recognize Russia's parliament and to consider excluding Russia from the PACE if the 2021 parliamentary elections in Russia are recognized as fraudulent and having been conducted in violation of democratic principles and international law.
On September 17, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine strongly condemned the illegal organization and conduct of elections by Russia in the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea. In addition, Ukraine condemned the forced voting of Ukrainian citizens who had been illegally issued Russian passports in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.