Press "Enter" to skip to content

Putin’s reelection hailed by allies, decried by West

Vladimir Putin’s “record” victory is hailed by allies such as China and Iran, while the West denounces the election as “illegal” and a “farce”.

Russia’s election commission on Monday hailed what it called Vladimir Putin’s “record” victory in the presidential election, claiming that he had won 87.28% of the vote. It claimed that turnout was also a record high of 77%.

Putin’s three rivals each received between 3.2% and 4.3% of the vote, according to the commission.

The results came amid Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and the country’s crackdown on opposition and free speech. Only three candidates were allowed to run against Putin, and none of them opposed his war in Ukraine.

What did Putin say?

Putin appeared in Moscow’s Red Square on Monday evening to address his supporters following his election win

“Hand in hand, we will move forward and this will make us stronger… Long live Russia!” he told the crowd who were also there for a pop concert marking ten years since Russia illegal annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

“As for Novorossiya, as for the Donbas, the people living there … declared their desire to return to their native family. Their way back to their homeland turned out to be harder, more tragic, but nevertheless, we did it,” he added, referring to the eastern parts of Ukraine where Russia also carried out an illegal referendum on joining Russia in 2022.

Putin supporters filled Red Square to celebrate on Monday evening, marking both the end of the election but also the 10-year anniversary of Crimea’s illegal annexation

What did Putin’s allies say?

Putin’s friends around the world were quick to congratulate him. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to Putin on his reelection, state media reported. According to Xi, Putin’s victory “fully reflects” the support of the Russian people.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a congratulatory message to reelected Putin, said he looked forward to strengthening ties to develop their “special” relationship. “Look forward to working together to further strengthen the time-tested Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia in the years to come,” Modi wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi sent a note reading: “The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran in a message sincerely congratulated Vladimir Putin on his decisive victory and reelection as the President of the Russian Federation,” state news agency IRNA reported.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also sent a congratulatory letter to Putin on his reelection, the state news agency KCNA reported.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said: “Our older brother has triumphed, which bodes well for the world.”

Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik said that his people “welcomed with joy the victory of President Putin for they see in him a great statesman and a friend on whom we can always count.”

Turkey repeats offer of Ukraine mediation

Although a member of the NATO alliance, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also congratulated Putin’s victory.

“President Erdogan expressed his belief that the positive evolution of relations between Turkey and Russia were continuing and stated that Turkey was ready to play a facilitator role to return to the negotiating table with Ukraine,” the Turkish presidency said in a statement.

Similar to Putin, Erdogan has managed to hold onto power in his country by changing electoral rules, cracking down on opponents and restricting media freedom.

Germany, West reject ‘election without choice’

At the same time, the Russian leader’s victory was rejected by the West. “Putin’s reelection was based on “repression and intimidation,” said the EU’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, adding that the elections in Russia were not free and fair.

A subsequent joint statement by all 27 European Union countries said Russians had been denied a “real choice” after all candidates who opposed the war in Ukraine were excluded. 

The EU also condemned the staging of the vote in regions of Ukraine occupied by Russia, saying it “does not and will never recognize either the holding of these so-called ‘elections’ in the territories of Ukraine or their results.”

According to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, it was “an election without choice.” She added that the EU would pave the way for new sanctions against Russia.

The US also dismissed the fairness of the vote. “The elections are obviously not free nor fair given how Mr. Putin has imprisoned political opponents and prevented others from running against him,” the White House said.

France’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the reelection of Putin took place in a context of repression of civil society and that the conditions for a free and democratic election were not met.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Cameron said the “illegal” elections featured “a lack of choice for voters and no independent OSCE monitoring.” “This is not what free and fair elections look like,” he added.

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said the “elections were neither free nor fair.” “We are continuing to work for a just peace that will bring Russia to put an end to the war of aggression against Ukraine, in accordance with international law,” he added.

The election was called a “farce and parody” by Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky. “This was the Russian presidential election that showed how this regime suppresses civil society, independent media, opposition,” he said.

Source: Dw

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *