EU does not recognize results of illegal elections that Russia held in Ukraine's occupied regions – representation

The European Union strongly condemns the holding by Russia of illegitimate so-called elections in the occupied territories of Ukraine – in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, in certain parts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions of Ukraine.

"We strongly reject this further futile attempt by Russia to legitimise or normalize its illegal military control and attempted annexation of parts of Ukrainian territories, as condemned in the UNGA Resolution adopted on 12 October 2022. It represents yet another manifest violation of international law, including the UN Charter, and Ukraine's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The European Union does not and will not recognise either the holding of these so-called 'elections' or their results. Russia's political leadership and those involved in organising them will face consequences of these illegal actions," according to a statement by the High Representative on behalf of the EU, published on the website of the EU Delegation to Ukraine on Monday.

The representative office said these illegal "elections" took place amidst Russia’s forced and illegal granting of passports, including to children, forced transfer and deportation, widespread and systematic violations and abuses of human rights as well as intimidation and increasing repression of Ukrainian citizens by Russia and its illegitimately appointed authorities in the temporary occupied territories of Ukraine.

The EU stressed that it commends the courage of the Ukrainian residents who opposed the sham voting and continue to resist the Russian occupation. The European Union remains firmly committed to supporting Ukraine and its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"Furthermore, the elections in Russia took place in a highly restricted environment fuelled by the aggression against Ukraine. Russian authorities have amplified internal repression by introducing war censorship and further cracking down on opposition politicians, civil society organisations, independent media and other critical voices with the use of repressive legislation and politically motivated sentences. This has resulted in restrictions of civil and political rights, precluding many candidates from running and limiting Russian voters’ choice and access to accurate information about candidates," according to the statement.

The EU condemned the pressure on the independent election monitoring group Golos, including the detention of its co-chair Grigory Melkonyants, and called on Russia to ensure continued monitoring of the elections by the OSCE.