MPs ban Russian citizens from monitoring elections in Ukraine

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed a law banning Russian nationals and persons suggested by the Russian party to serve as official observers in the presidential, parliamentary, and local elections in Ukraine.

The decision was supported by 232 MPs at a plenary session of the parliament on Thursday.

According to the law, a citizen (subject) of a state, which is recognized by the Verkhovna Rada as an aggressor state or an occupier state cannot serve as an official observer from foreign states and international organizations

Moreover, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko promised to instruct the State Border Guard Service to bar Russian observers who intend to monitor the upcoming presidential elections from entering the country.

“I, as president of Ukraine and supreme commander-in-chief, will issue an order to the State Border Guard Service not to let [Russian election observers]. in And I guarantee you and the Ukrainian people that this order will be fulfilled,” he stressed.

On February 7, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker said he is not against Russian observers being allowed to monitor Ukrainian elections.

“Ukraine needs ODIHR monitors to prove it adheres to democratic standards. Otherwise allows people to question election. OK if Russian monitors are part, but under ODIHR authority. No games,” Volker said on Twitter on Thursday.

Ukraine ‘needs to have confidence in its own democratic institutions’, he added.

Poroshenko not going to extend martial law period, via Interfax Ukraine