Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed changes to the law on presidential elections, allowing them to be held in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
This information was reported on the legal information portal.
According to the new rules, elections in the occupied territories can take place after consultations with the Central Election Commission, the Ministry of Defense, and the Federal Security Service of Russia. Voting is allowed both throughout the entire territory under martial law and only in its part.
The amendments also relate to the prohibition of campaigning on blocked resources and allowing the representatives of the media working only under an employment contract to attend election commission meetings. Additionally, the document prohibits photo and video shooting at polling stations in military units.
These changes were adopted on the eve of the presidential elections in Russia, scheduled for March 2024. Putin will be running for a new term, and these changes are likely made to ensure his victory.
It’s worth noting that on September 30, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke in the Georgievsky Hall of the Kremlin during the ceremony of the so-called “joining” of the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions after pseudo-referendums were held on them. In his speech, he also called on Kyiv to come to the negotiating table.
On the same day, September 30, Ukraine applied for accelerated NATO membership. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the Alliance and its allies do not recognize the “agreements” of Russian President Vladimir Putin on the attempted annexation of Ukrainian territories. He also noted that Ukraine’s NATO membership depends on the agreement of all allies.
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