Ukrainian Rada rep asks Lithuania not to recognize Russia's presidential election

  • 2024-02-26
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNUS – Olena Kondratiuk, deputy speaker of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, has asked Lithuania not to recognize the presidential election in Russia in March, saying that this election will also be held in Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine and therefore cannot be considered legitimate.

"Today, representing the Ukrainian parliament, I asked to support the resolution on the non-recognition of the legitimacy of the Russian presidential election. Putin wants to hold the election in temporarily occupied territories as well. This is a very important issue for us, and we would ask the Lithuanian parliament to support such a resolution and not to recognize this election", Kondratiuk told a press conference in Vilnius on Monday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will seek reelection another six-year on March 15-17 as we wants to remain in the Kremlin until at least 2030.

Observers have no doubt that Putin, who has consolidated power and systematically suppressed the opposition, will succeed as all key opposition politicians are banned from the election.

Putin, 71, has ruled Russia as president or prime minister since later December 1999.

Kondratiuk, who is visiting Vilnius on the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, says this is not just a war between Russia and Ukraine. It is a war between authoritarianism and democracy, she said.

"It is important to underline the responsibility of the democratic world in this matter because surely Putin would not stop in Ukraine. If Ukraine falls, so will many European countries," she pointed out.

Speaker of the Lithanian Seimas Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen said Ukraine's key existing needs were discussed during her meeting with Kondratiuk.

"Understandably, military assistance they need on the front line is the most important thing for Ukraine, and here Lithuania is trying to help as much as it can. Among other things, when speaking with our foreign counterparts, allies and partners, we urge them not to delay assistance because this is what is key right now, this is fundamental not only for Ukraine, but also for our own security, for the security of the whole of Europe, and for the stability of the international order," she said. "Time is important, and it is moving much faster in Kyiv, and especially on the front line, than in the quiet capitals of Europe."

Kondratiuk also stressed the importance of military assistance.

"We must also join our efforts to provide Ukraine with the necessary weapons and projectiles. First of all, the key things is to get the US to adopt the military aid package so that we have something to fight with, and air defense is also very important," she said.

Kondratriuk also highlighted the development of the military industry and assistance in demining Ukrainian territory.

"About 30 percent of Ukraine's territory is mined, an area that is two and a half times bigger than Lithuania. You can imagine how much effort is needed to ensure that we can simply continue living," she said.

Asked about the possibility of mobilization in Ukraine, Kondratiuk said this issue would be resolved internally.

"As far as mobilization is concerned, we will resolve this issue in our country, we will do it democratically, transparently and in cooperation with the government and with the president," she said.

The Ukrainian Rada representative on Monday also paid tribute to the memory of Lithuanian volunteer Tadas Tumas who was killed on the frontline in Ukraine last week.

The Kondratiuk-led delegation is also scheduled to meet with members of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs, ministers and other officials to discuss the support and assistance of the Lithuanian Seimas to Ukraine, its needs and EU membership aspirations, and also issues related to Ukrainians who have found refuge in Lithuania.