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US: Will not recognise legitimacy of Russian polls in Crimea

US State department spokesman, John Kirby said it will not recognise the outcome of the Russian Duma elections. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Washington, United States Sep 17, 2016, 05.05 AM (IST)
US state department spokesman, John Kirby, on Friday said the United States "does not recognise the legitimacy" of Russian Parliamentary elections in Crimea. 

While addressing his daily conference, Kirby said: "The United States does not recognise the legitimacy, and will not recognise the outcome of the Russian Duma elections planned for Russian-occupied Crimea on September 18th."

He maintained that US position concerning Crimea was clear, it is a part of Ukraine and "Crimea-related sanctions against Russia will remain until Russia returns control of Crimea to Ukraine."

Kirby also expressed concern over human rights violations taking place, "including the status of the ethnic Tatar community and widespread reports of missing persons and human rights abuses."
 
Despite Ukraine's opposition, Russia is holding the elections in Crimea, where for the first time in two-and-a-half years, local residents are getting ready to cast their votes on Sunday.


Ukraine reacts

Ukraine's foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin reiterated that the elections in Crimea were "absolutely unacceptable."

"These elections are completely illegitimate. They are illegitimate in the political sense but they are also illegitimate in the purely legal sense and actually it's the Russian side now (that) opened up a kind of Pandora box because for me it puts a question mark on the whole issue of democratic legitimacy for the Russian Parliament," Reuters quoted him as saying. 

Despite Ukraine's opposition, Russia is holding the elections in Crimea, where for the first time in two-and-a-half years, local residents are getting ready to cast their votes on Sunday, according to media reports. 

Ukraine, along with Western countries has accused Russia of providing military support to Eastern Ukrainian insurgency after Russia annexed Crimea. 

However, Russia denied the charges and said it played no direct role in the conflict. 

(WION with inputs from agencies)

 
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