Formin: Estonia doesn't recognize elections organized in occupied territories of Ukraine

  • 2024-03-18
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – In a statement issued on the 10th anniversary of the annexation of Crimea, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna said that Estonia does not recognize the so-called presidential elections of Russia nor their results in the occupied territories of Ukraine and added that the individuals who organized the elections there must be sanctioned.

"Ten years ago today, the Russian Federation annexed the Crimean peninsula. For ten years, Russia has occupied Ukrainian territories illegally, claiming them as its own, violating Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and territorial integrity, and endangering international security," Tsahkna said.

According to the minister, holding so-called elections in Crimea and in other occupied areas of Ukraine is proof of Russia’s continued imperialist policies.

"It is a blatant violation of international law. We do not recognize these so-called elections nor their results in the occupied territories of Ukraine. The individuals who organized elections there must be sanctioned. The 'elections' that ended in Russia yesterday once again confirmed that the rules of a democracy ceased to function there long ago; the dictatorial President Putin continues to rule the country and unfortunately any change is unlikely in Russia," Tsahkna said in the statement issued on Monday.

He added that, ten years ago, Putin’s regime decided to blatantly violate Ukraine’s sovereignty, organize a sham referendum and declare Crimea part of Russia.

"The indigenous peoples of Crimea -- Crimean Tatars, Karaites, Krymchaks -- were left under Russian occupation without any right for free expression. Tens of thousands of residents of Crimea are subjected to violence, terrorism, deportations and other international crimes. Putin belongs in The Hague, at the International Criminal Court, answering for the suffering he has caused to all the people living in Ukraine," Tsahkna said.

"Ukraine is fighting for our freedom and our future, which is why it is our duty to support them until they have won the war. We are firmly supporting Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. Crimea is Ukraine," the minister added.