KYIV (QHA) -

Ukraine urged the Russian occupation authorities in the Crimea not to persecute Crimeans who did not take part in the "election" of the Russian president, and again accentuated the illegality of any Russian elections in the occupied peninsula.

A corresponding statement was made by Ihor Prokopchuk, Permanent Representative of Ukraine to the international organizations in Vienna, at a meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council on March 22 in Vienna.

"We urge the Russian occupation authorities to refrain from repressive and punitive measures against the Crimean people who refused to participate in the so-called "elections”,” the statement said.

The Ukrainian delegation also stressed that holding the "elections" on Ukrainian territory - in Crimea, has Russia once again demonstrated disregard for the fundamental norms and principles of international law, enshrined in particular in the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act. 

Accordingly, such "elections" are void and do not have any legal consequences, Ukrainian diplomats stressed.

“According to international law, the Crimean peninsula is a sovereign territory of Ukraine. The results of illegal voting in the presidential elections in Russia are insignificant and have no legal consequences," they noted.

Furthermore, the Ukrainian side urged OSCE member states not to recognize the results of the "elections" and not only to condemn any such attempts to legitimize Russian aggression against Ukraine, but also to take sanctions measures against certain individuals. The list of those who took part in the organization and holding of illegal presidential elections in the temporarily occupied Crimea, was transferred to the OSCE countries.

QHA reported that on the second day after the illegal "election" of the Russian president, lawyer Emil Kurbedinov informed that several Crimean Tatars had been dismissed in the occupied Crimea for not participating in the vote.

Ukraine before the "election" of the Russian president urged the Crimeans to ignore it and promised sanctions measures against those who took part in its organization. Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people also called on the Crimean Tatars to ignore participation in the vote, despite the fact that this may turn into repression by the occupation authorities. The occupiers themselves demanded the Crimeans to come and vote, in particular, threatening with dismissal from work.

According to the Mejlis estimates, the real turnout for the "elections" as a whole did not exceed 30%, while the turnout among the Crimean Tatars did not exceed 10%, despite pressure and intimidation. At the same time, the Mejlis notes with regret that neither Ukraine nor the international community has real levers to protect unruly Crimeans from repression by the occupiers. However, they promise to collect information on the facts of the pressure to use it, including in international litigation.

Ukraine, the European Union, the United States, the G-7 countries and other countries of Europe and the world condemned the conduct of Russia's electoral process in the Ukrainian Crimea and declared non-recognition of these elections. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted a resolution recognizing these "elections" as illegal, noting that the inclusion of the votes of the Crimeans in the all-Russian election results casts doubt on the legitimacy of the presidential elections in Russia as a whole.

QHA