12:46 GMT27 January 2020
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    EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini's spokesperson said that the European Union has refused to recognize Russia's parliamentary elections in Crimea, urging the Russian government to address challenges to democracy.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The European Union has refused to recognize Russia's parliamentary elections in Crimea, urging the Russian government to address challenges to democracy, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini's spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.

    "The European Union has not recognized the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and therefore does not recognize the holding of elections in the Crimean peninsula," the statement on the European External Action Service reads.

    It was noted in the statement that elections in Russia had been "transparently administered" but certain challenges remained, including "restrictions to fundamental freedoms and political rights."

    On Sunday, Russians all across the country, including in Crimea, cast their ballots to elect the State Duma members. The Crimean Peninsula participated in the vote for the first time since rejoining Russia in March 2014.

    Crimea reunified with Russia after over 96 percent of the local population supported the move in a 2014 referendum following the coup in Kiev that toppled former President Viktor Yanukovich. Kiev, as well as the West, did not recognize the move and considers the peninsula an occupied territory.


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    parliamentary elections, European Union, Federica Mogherini, Crimea, Russia
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