Elections in annexed Crimea: a legal trap for the West

Author : Ihor Solovey

Source : 112 Ukraine

Recognition of the elections to the State Duma in Crimea means legitimizing of Russian annexation
18:17, 23 August 2016

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Crimea became one of the hottest media issues of the last time, and this is not a coincidence.

The current situation with the peninsula is part of the technology, the aim of which is to “attach” Russia to the territory, which was previously occupied in a military way. And to ensure the electoral result.

September 18, the regular elections to the Russian parliament (State Duma) to take place. This would be the first "elections" held in Crimea; four MPs would represent the peninsula in Moscow.

The situation in Crimea is quite pessimistic for the Russian authorities: they did not manage to create the promised paradise in Crimea, and "United Russia" party rapidly lost its credibility (especially in Sevastopol).

Related: Ambassador of Ukraine to Latvia tells how to return occupied Crimea

Therefore, Moscow has chosen a proven mobilization technology of the "besieged fortress." Putin is trying to convince his citizens that Russia is surrounded with enemies: NATO, Ukrainian nationalists and partisans. Against the backdrop of this pervasive internal "threats," Russia reports about ISIS military bases in Ukraine’s Kherson region.

No wonder that after the incident Crimean occupation authorities did not let the OSCE observers on the peninsula. They decided to "judge" of "saboteurs" in Crimea to prevent information leakage and complete the special operation.

Related: MFA demands to provide access to Crimea for international human rights observers

Putin's trip to Crimea on August 19 was a continuation of the pre-election scenario aimed at mobilizing Crimea before the election. That is why the Russian President promised to provide the peninsula with the "additional security measures."

"We have gathered in Crimea not accidentally. The theme of today's meeting is discussion and adoption of additional measures for the security of Crimean peninsula, Crimean citizens, ad guests who come here on vacation," said Putin.

Related: In Simferopol, police dispersed the action "Deceived Crimea"

On the eve of the elections to the State Duma, Russia continues to frighten Crimean citizens with "dangerous Ukraine." The next stage of the scenario will be implemented after the elections.

Ukraine has appealed to the OSCE and to the other specialized international organizations not to make any steps that could be interpreted as recognition of any other status of Crimea, except as an integral part of Ukraine.

In addition, Kyiv warned that all international observers, who will travel to Crimea, will be responsible for the violation of Ukrainian legislation and any illegal visits to the peninsula will be investigated by Ukrainian law enforcement agencies. Ukraine is also going to open criminal cases against the MPs elected tot eh State Duma, as well as the candidates for their illegal campaigning.

Related: Putin's visit to Crimea has a demonstrative character, - political scientist

Moscow traditionally places its stakes on some marginalized foreign politicians that would flock to Crimea from all over the world.

Russia also puts high hopes on the observation mission from CIS. However, it does not have the ultimate confidence in the loyalty of allies. Even the most devoted Putin’s partners have not recognized Crimea as part of Russia.

Kyiv has sent to the CIS Executive Committee in Minsk on an official note, in which it condemned sending of the Election Observation Mission to the territory of the annexed Crimea.

Related: OSCE not to send observers to elections in occupied Crimea

Thus, the results of the pseudo-elections in Crimea would not be recognized neither by Ukraine, nor by the international community. Crimean MPs in the State Duma questions the legitimacy of the Lower Chamber of the Russian Federation in general. Therefore, the West must make a choice, whether it “swallows” abuse of international law or not.

Europe, the United States, and the civilized world must prepare now to answer four essential questions that arise in connection with the elections to the State Duma:

1. Will they recognize four MPs elected to the State Duma in the occupied Crimea?

2. Are Western countries going to prevent their inclusion in the Russian parliamentary delegation to PACE, OSCE, and BSEC?

3. Will these four deputes be prohibited from entering the EU?

4. Does the West understand that the recognition of the elections to the State Duma in Crimea means legitimizing of Russian annexation?

The public response to these questions will be a test for the West's democracy and compliance with the international norms.

Related: BBC: Crimea tension: What is Russia's end game?

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