France Condemns Russian Election

On Monday, France condemned the recent Russian presidential election, stating that it took place under conditions of repression and failed to meet the standards of a free and democratic process.

The French foreign ministry expressed its dissatisfaction with the outcome of the three-day polls, which saw Russian President Vladimir Putin secure another six years in power, extending his rule for a fifth term.

The ministry stressed concerns over the lack of serious opposition candidates, particularly after the death of Putin’s vocal critic, Alexei Navalny, in a Russian prison last month.

In a statement, the French foreign ministry said that the election occurred amidst “increasing repression of civil society and all forms of opposition to the regime.”

France commended the bravery of Russian citizens who peacefully demonstrated their opposition to the political environment, acknowledging the thousands who participated in protests, including the “Noon Against Putin” movement initiated by Navalny’s team.

Navalny’s death was attributed in part to the Russian authorities’ treatment during his imprisonment.

“The conditions for a free, pluralist, and democratic election were not met once again,” the French foreign ministry said.

Furthermore, France criticised Russia for not allowing critics of Putin’s policies, particularly regarding the war in Ukraine, to participate in the election.

The absence of election observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was also condemned.

France firmly stated that it would not recognise the legitimacy of the election results, particularly in areas of southern and eastern Ukraine currently occupied by Russia.

French President Emmanuel Macron echoed this sentiment, noting that he would not congratulate Putin on his victory, citing the death of Navalny and the suppression of opposition voices as reasons

“Alexei Navalny’s death and the banning of all (Putin’s) opponents mean that you can’t congratulate someone on an election marked by the deaths of those who fought for pluralism in Russia,” he said.

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