Russians in Ukraine to be blocked from voting in presidential poll: Kiev

US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert

US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert

Global observers who have visited Sevastopol expressed confidence on Sunday that the Russian presidential election in Crimea will be held in line with the law.

"Four years will have passed on 18 March 2014 since the violations of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity committed by the Russian Federation, which illegally annexed the Crimean Peninsula and launched military aggression in the east of Ukraine".

"Challenging borders by force is contrary to worldwide law, including commitments made by the Russian Federation", the French foreign ministry said in a statement.

In line with the policy of non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea, Latvia added that it does not recognize the holding of the Russian presidential election in Crimea and Sevastopol on 18 March. "Other individuals and citizens of Russian Federation will not be allowed to enter diplomatic establishments on that day", reads the statement.

Russian authorities have organized four polling stations in diplomatic missions located in Ukraine, namely in Kiev, Kharkiv, Lviv, and Odessa.

Chairman of Crimea's election commission Mikhail Malyshev earlier said that the global observers come from Austria, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Spain, Italy, Lebanon, Pakistan, Malaysia, Serbia, Ukraine, Finland, France and Sweden.

Ukraine has deemed the decision "illegal" prompting the ban on Russians from voting in Ukraine.

"Ukraine's interior ministry states that conducting illegal elections on Ukraine's sovereign territory in violation of all norms of global law is unacceptable", Avakov said on Facebook. Nauert blasted the 2014 referendum in Crimea as to whether the region should join Russian Federation.

However, should no candidate attain an absolute majority of the votes (more than half) in the first round, then according to Russian law a second round will take place exactly three weeks later, on April 8, 2018-provided the other candidate is still alive.

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