No improvement in security situation after Russia's 'rigged election' – Nauseda

  • 2024-03-18
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Vladimir Putin's presidential election victory does not improve the security situation in the region as it will give Putin the freedom to continue his geopolitical ambitions, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda says.

"The security situation after this election is not improving, to put it mildly, because now that this rigged election project has been realized, and Vladimir Putin will continue trying to make his geopolitical ambitions come true," Nauseda told reporters in Lithuania's northerneasterm city of Zarasai on Monday.

According to Russia's Central Election Commission, after Putin won 87.33 percent of the total votes cast after ballots have been counted in 99 percent of polling stations, the state news agency RIA reported on Monday.

"If we call our elections free, democratic and ensuring the freedom of choice, then we could add the word non to all the words and we would get a rough estimate of this election", the Lithuanian president said.

Nobody had doubt about Putin's victory in the three-day vote as all of his main opponents are dead, imprisoned or exiled, and the authorities continue to crack down on those who publicly oppose the Kremlin or its war in Ukraine.

The unusually early results are yet another sign of a predetermined election in which only three symbolic rivals ran against Putin.

The vote came amid a wave of attacks from Ukraine, incursions into Russian territory by pro-Kiev subversive groups and vandalism at polling stations.

Ukraine and the West have also condemned Russia for holding the vote in several regions of Ukraine that Russia claims to have annexed. These annexations are not recognized by Kyiv or its allies.

The Russian opposition calls on the West not to recognize the election results.