Brussels will never recognize Russian Duma elections in occupied Crimea, the voting held in an atmosphere of fear.
The European Union spokesperson Peter Stano said this at a press briefing in Brussels on Monday, September 20.
Stano said that the European Commission would never recognize the elections in illegally annexed Crimea, expressing concern that citizens of Ukraine in the Ukrainian territories which are currently occupied were given passports and allowed to vote. According to him, this ran counter to the spirit of the Minsk agreements.
"We will never recognize the elections in illegally annexed Crimea because Crimea is Ukraine," Stano said.
No credible observers were allowed during elections
Stano said that elections, wherever they are taking place in the world, should be run in a free and fair way. He said the elections had taken place without any credible international observation and that the EU regretted Russia’s decision to severely reduce and restrict the size and format of the OSCE - Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights mission thereby preventing its deployment.
The spokesperson said the crackdown on opposition politicians, civil society organizations, civil society activists, human rights activists, independent media outlets and against journalists ahead of the election was aimed at silencing critical opposition and removing competition.