Kyiv has decided to prohibit Russians, except for diplomats, to vote in Ukraine since Moscow “continuously violates international treaties,” as stated by Member of the board of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and member of Ukrainian Parliament Anton Herashchenko.
“In the opinion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this decision is consistent with international law. Diplomats’ right to vote is covered by the international convention”, — he noted. Herashchenko added that if Russian citizens “want to vote for their favorite president [Vladimir] Putin, they can vote in the Russian Federation”.
On March 16th, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Arsen Avakov announced that access of Russian citizens to the Russian Embassy in Kyiv and Consulates in Kharkiv, Lviv and Odessa on Election Day in Russia on March 18th would be prohibited. He noted that only diplomats will have access to the polling stations. According to the Minister, such a decision was made because Moscow went ahead with holding elections in the Crimea which Kyiv considers a Ukrainian territory.
Russia protested the decision of Kyiv to prohibit Russian citizens from voting in Ukraine. Nikolay Bulaev, Vice-Chairman of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation, said that the decision of Kyiv “violates the international law”. Vasily Likhachyov, a member of the Russian Central Election Commission said that polling stations in the buildings of diplomatic missions in Russia cannot be closed by Ukrainian authorities just because it is “the Russian territory”. He added that in view of this situation, the Central Election Commission appealed to the mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), mission of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.