The Council of Europe Has Condemned the Sham "Elections" Held by Russia in the Occupied Territories of Ukraine
The heads of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe announced that the pseudo-elections conducted by the Russian Federation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine cannot be considered valid under international law.
This was stated in a joint statement by the Prime Minister of Latvia and the President of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Krisjanis Karins, the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Tiny Kox, and the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić.
"We strongly condemn the illegitimate, staged "elections" that took place from September 8 to 10, 2023, in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine by the Russian Federation. Conducted in flagrant violation of international law, they are yet another illustration of Russia's disregard for the values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law upheld by the Council of Europe," the joint statement said.
At the same time, the heads of the committee emphasized that the staging of fictitious "elections" is just the latest in a series of "illegal and harmful decisions" made by Russia after it was suspended from the Council of Europe due to its aggressive war against Ukraine.
The participants also reaffirmed their unwavering support for the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders.
It is worth noting that on September 10, elections of various levels concluded in Russia. This included the election of regional leaders, members of legislative bodies of state power, and members of the State Duma. Concurrently, the Russian Federation simulated the conduct of fictitious "elections" in the occupied regions of Ukraine, including Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Luhansk, and Donetsk, as a result of the annexationist war.
Preparations for these puppet "elections" began as early as May 2023. Among the so-called "candidates" for positions, the majority are Russians from distant regions of the Russian Federation.
Previously, in June, the European Union condemned Russia's intention to hold these elections, describing it as a blatant violation of international law.
"This is yet another futile attempt by Russia to pretend that it legitimizes its illegal military control and attempts at annexing Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions of Ukraine, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and the city of Sevastopol. This constitutes a serious violation of the UN Charter and the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Russia has no legal grounds for such actions on the territory of Ukraine," said EU spokesperson Peter Stano.
It is worth noting that the Putin-led party "United Russia" received the majority of votes in these fictitious "elections." According to British Intelligence, this Kremlin policy is aimed at trying to maintain its control and influence in the occupied territories.