Foreign Ministry's Statement on the elections to the State Duma in the Russian Federation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania notes that the election to the State Duma, which was held in the Russian Federation on 17-19 September, took place in the context of restrictions on civil and political rights.
Russian authorities used repressive laws on "extremist organizations", "foreign agents" and "undesirable organizations" to reinforce a systemic crackdown on democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and independent media. This has further deteriorated political pluralism in Russia and possibilities for the people of Russia to express their civil position freely. For this reason, the independent political opposition did not have the opportunity to be part of the electoral process. We call on Russian authorities to put an end to their systemic pressure campaign against civil society, opposition, and independent media.
We also regret that the constraints, put by Russian authorities under the pretext of the epidemiological situation in the country, did not allow the participation of international observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in the elections.
All these actions demonstrate Russia’s distancing from democratic principles and cast a shadow of doubt on the transparency of the elections. We regret this spiral of negative developments that goes in contradiction to the principles of the Council of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights, the OSCE, and other international commitments by Russia.
The elections to the Russian State Duma held in the illegally annexed Crimea and Russia-occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, as well as the inclusion in the elections of Ukrainian citizens to whom passports of the Russian Federation were illegally issued, grossly violate the norms and principles of international law, as well as the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. Once again, we call on Russia to end the illegal annexation of Ukraine's Autonomous Republic of Crimea, to withdraw its military forces from the occupied territories of Ukraine, and to respect the international law. We remain unwavering in our support to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.