June 23. 2024. 7:28

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The EU should boycott Vladimir Putin’s inauguration ceremony

None of the diplomatic representatives of the EU and its Member States accredited in Russia should participate in the upcoming inauguration ceremony of Vladimir Putin as Russia’s president. The EPP Group expects a clear and straightforward recommendation to all the foreign ministers of the Member States of the European Union in this sense, states the letter sent today by the Members of the EPP Group to Josep Borrell, the Vice-President/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

“The presidential “election” in Russia was undemocratic and has no legitimacy, and therefore Vladimir Putin’s presidency is illegitimate. But the supply of words on the world market has exceeded the demand. Now, deeds need to follow. Following our decision to recognise Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, we should not give Vladimir Putin any occasion to institute his "legitimacy". That’s why the EU and its Members States should boycott the inauguration ceremony," stresses Manfred Weber MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group.

“The participation of EU diplomats in Putin’s "inauguration" is a total farce and a disgrace. They will be forced to congratulate him on his ‘re-election’ and applaud his neo-imperialist statements, which include open threats to Western democracies. The Europeans deserve a better defence of their values by their diplomats," adds Andrius Kubilius MEP and EPP Group spokesperson on Russia.

In the letter, Members also urge the international community to stop referring to Vladimir Putin as president of the Russian Federation once his current term of office expires on 7 May 2024. They also advocate to cease all contact with Vladimir Putin, as he will have no political or moral mandate to enter into any further contractual relations on behalf of the Russian Federation, and as he is the subject of an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for his responsibility for alleged war crimes in Ukraine and unlawful deportations of Ukrainian citizens, in particular children. They also recall that that the “election” was held in the illegally occupied territories of Ukraine, which constitutes a flagrant breach of Ukrainian sovereignty and is a distinct violation of international law and in particular the UN Charter. Even within Russia, the “election” was neither free nor fair. It did not meet the basic international electoral standards and thus lacked any democratic legitimacy.

Following the atrocities carried out by Vladimir Putin’s regime against Ukrainian civilians, the Eurppean Parliament in November 2022, already recognised Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and called for further isolation of the regime.

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