Russia – Results of the presidential election (18 March 2024)


France notes the expected result of the presidential election by which Vladimir Putin continues as President of the Russian Federation for a fifth term.

The electoral process in Russia went ahead against the backdrop of a heightened crackdown on civil society and all forms of opposition to the regime, ever greater restrictions on freedom of expression, and a ban on the operation of independent media outlets. The political opposition figure Alexei Navalny died a few weeks before this election, among other things following a hardening of his conditions of detention by the Russian authorities. Candidates opposed to continuing the war in Ukraine were not allowed to compete in the election, significantly reducing its level of pluralism. International standards in terms of candidates’ equal access to the media during the campaign were not complied with. Once again, the conditions for a free, pluralist and democratic election were not met. France salutes the courage of many Russian citizens who peacefully demonstrated their opposition to this attack on their fundamental political rights.

France regrets the fact that, contrary to its international commitments, Russia decided not to invite the observation mission of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which meant that the election went ahead without any impartial international observation.

France also condemns the fact that Russia organized a so-called “election” in the Ukrainian territories temporarily occupied by Russia: in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, as well as part of the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. The illegal organization of a so-called “election” in the Ukrainian territories temporarily occupied by Russia constitutes a further violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations. France does not and will never recognize the holding of this so-called “election” and its results, and reaffirms its commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity.

France also condemns the fact that Russia set up polling stations in the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as the region of Transnistria in the Republic of Moldova, without the consent of the Georgian or Moldovan authorities.