Bulgaria Denounces Russian Presidential Elections in Occupied Ukrainian Territories

Politics » DIPLOMACY | March 18, 2024, Monday // 17:21
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Denounces Russian Presidential Elections in Occupied Ukrainian Territories

Bulgaria has taken a firm stance against the recent Russian presidential elections held in the illegally occupied territories of Ukraine, including Transnistria, South Ossetia, and Abkhazia. In a statement released on social media, the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed strong condemnation of these elections.

The ministry emphasized Bulgaria's unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia within their internationally recognized borders and territorial waters. The statement underscores Bulgaria's commitment to upholding the principles of international law and respecting the sovereignty of these nations.

Accompanying the ministry's publication is a statement from the High Representative on behalf of the European Union (EU), inclusive of Bulgaria, addressing the Russian presidential elections and their illegitimacy within Ukrainian territory.

Bulgaria's denouncement adds to the chorus of international voices expressing concern over the implications of holding elections in disputed territories.

Here is the full statement:

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"The presidential elections held by Russia on March 15-17 took place in a highly restricted environment, exacerbated by Russia's illegal war of aggression against Ukraine.

Russian authorities continued to intensify systemic internal repression by cracking down on opposition politicians, civil society organizations, independent media and other critical voices through repressive legislation and politically motivated prison sentences. The shocking death of opposition politician Alexei Navalny on the eve of the election is another sign of the accelerating and systematic repression. The election took place in an increasingly shrinking political space that led to an alarming rise in civil and political rights violations and prevented many candidates from running, including all those opposed to Russia's illegal war of aggression, depriving Russian voters of a real choice and severely limited their access to accurate information. The European Union will continue to support the important work of Russian civil society organizations, human rights defenders and independent media.

The European Union regrets the decision of the Russian authorities not to invite OSCE/ODIHR observers to its elections. This contradicts Russia's commitments to the OSCE and deprives Russian voters and institutions of an impartial and independent assessment of these elections.

In addition, the European Union strongly condemns the illegal conduct of the so-called "elections" in the territories of Ukraine that Russia temporarily occupies: the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as in parts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson region. The so-called 'elections' in these territories constitute yet another flagrant violation by Russia of international law, including the UN Charter, as well as the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Referring to the two UN General Assembly resolutions of October 12, 2022 and March 27, 2014, we call on Russia to respect Ukraine's internationally recognized borders and sovereignty. The European Union reiterates that it does not recognize and will never recognize neither the holding of these so-called "elections" on the territories of Ukraine nor their results. They are null and void and cannot have any legal consequences. Russia's political leadership and those involved in organizing them will suffer the consequences of these illegal actions.

The European Union reiterates its unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. Russia must end its illegal war of aggression against Ukraine and immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw its military forces and equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine."

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Tags: Bulgaria, Russian, elections, Ukraine

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