Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 07.02.2019
While waging war against Ukraine, the Russian Federation is demanding to send ‘observers’ to the elections for President of Ukraine and for the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in 2019. The moral obscenity of this demand by the Putin regime is not lost on the Ukrainians. The executive, the administration, and the legislature in Ukraine are acting determinedly to prevent the aggressor state from interfering in elections by sending so-called ‘observers.’
On February 4, President Poroshenko said that he is ordering the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine not to allow in Russian observers of the election. He said this on the “Svoboda Slova” [Freedom of Speech] television program on ICTV.
The Central Election Commission of Ukraine (CEC) has said that it will not open polling stations in the Russian Federation at the Ukrainian embassy in Moscow and at Ukrainian consulates throughout the country. The CEC is taking all prudent measures to safeguard the integrity of the elections and prevent Russian interference in their conduct.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, Pavlo Klimkin, announced that Ukraine would not accept applications from Russians who intend to join the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights election observer mission.
The First Deputy Chairperson of the Verkhovna Rada, Iryna Gerashchenko, is one of the co-authors of a draft bill to prohibit the participation of Russians in any election observation mission in Ukraine. “Together with my colleagues we registered a bill on the impossibility of the participation of observers from the aggressor-country of the Russian Federation in the Ukrainian presidential and parliamentary elections,” wrote Ms Gerashchenko on February 4.
By Ukrainian law, the Russian Federation is an aggressor state. The Russian Federation caused and is waging a war in Ukraine. Integral parts of Ukraine – Crimea and some of Donbas – are illegally occupied by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. The Putin regime actively prevented Ukrainian citizens in Crimea and Donbas from voting in the presidential and parliamentary elections in 2014. The invader-occupiers will undoubtedly prevent Ukrainian citizens from exercising the franchise in 2019. It is absurd to consider that an enemy of Ukraine could act as a neutral and unbiased observer the conduct of Ukrainian elections, to assess if they are free and fair.