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Crimea Open to Int'l Monitors at Presidential Vote - Russian Election Commission

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SIMFEROPOL (Russia) (Sputnik) - Russia's southwestern Crimean Peninsula is open for all observation activities of international monitors during the forthcoming presidential election, the chairman of the regional election commission said Tuesday.

"If they [international observers] make a decision and come to Crimea, then we will be glad to see them and will show them any ballot station, where the election will be taking place. We have nothing to hide. We have an absolutely open election and [the monitors] will not face any problems there," Mikhail Malyshev said, as broadcast by the Sputnik in Crimea radio station.

The official added that the Russian Central Election Commission was responsible for the registration of foreign observers.

The Russian presidential vote is scheduled for Sunday, while the campaign kicked off on December 18. The presidential election in Crimea and the city of Sevastopol will be held for the first time since their reunification with Russia.

READ MORE: Russian Voters Most Familiar With Election Programs of Putin, Zhirinovsky — Poll

Crimea seceded from Ukraine and reunified with Russia after more than 96 percent of local voters supported the move in a referendum in March 2014. Kiev, as well as the European Union and the United States, did not recognize the move and consider the peninsula to be an occupied territory.

Russian officials have repeatedly pointed out that the reunification took place via a referendum, which is a democratic procedure. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the matter of the peninsula's status was closed once and for all.

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presidential election, Crimea, Russia
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