Russia opens voting stations for State Duma elections in Georgia’s occupied regions

Tskhinvali seen from the village of Ergneti, Georgia. Photo by Nino Alavidze/, 18 Sep 2016 - 23:05, Tbilisi,Georgia

Russia has opened 21 illegal polling stations for the State Duma Elections in Georgia’s occupied territories today.

In accordance with a decision by the chairperson of Russia’s Central Election Commission, more than 114,000 people residing in occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali (South Ossetia) regions were registered as voters in different federal subjects of Russia. 

This evening Georgia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement, condemning the holding of Russian elections in Georgia’s occupied regions as "another manifestation of Moscow’s annexation policy, which grossly violates fundamental norms of international law”.

Through the aforementioned actions, the Russian Federation neglects the essential principles, enshrined in the UN Charter, such as inviolability of internationally recognised borders and non-interference in domestic affairs,” the statement said.

The Georgian side also said as early as the 2000s Moscow started the process of illegal, forced passportisation in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali regions; and in 2011-2012 the Russian side made people with newly-received Russian passports illegitimately participate in the Parliamentary and Presidential Elections of the Russian Federation.

Official Tbilisi said this year these people were included in electoral lists of Russia’s federal districts and were voting for a majoritarian candidate from the respective federal subjects.

The Ministry called on the international community to give a "proper assessment” and react to "another illegal action of the Russian Federation in the occupied regions, aimed at violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.”