European Union again calls on Russian Federation to return Crimea to Ukraine - Mogherini

Members of Ukrainian national groups were reported to have gathered on a street near the Russian Embassy in the Ukrainian capital.

"Challenging borders by force is contrary to global law, including commitments made by the Russian Federation", the French foreign ministry said in a statement.

"For us it is important that for the first time after the reunification of Crimea and Sevastopol with Russia we are taking part in the Russian presidential election..."

"France does not recognise the organisation of Russia's presidential election in Crimea today", it added as Russians vote in an election overshadowed by a furious row with Britain and its allies over the poisoning of a former Russian double agent in England.

Russian authorities have organized four polling stations in diplomatic missions located in Ukraine, namely in Kiev, Kharkiv, Lviv, and Odessa.

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"In these circumstances, acknowledging Russia's aggressive hybrid war against Ukraine, illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the occupation of parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the holding of illegal elections on this sovereign Ukrainian territory in violation of all worldwide law, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry has decided that it would be impossible to hold the election, which violates the laws of Ukraine on Ukrainian territory, on the territory of diplomatic establishments", the ministry said.

The European Union also stressed the need for Russian Federation to implement the provisions of the UN General Assembly resolution on Ukraine's territorial integrity.

"The violation of territorial integrity of a sovereign state and the illegal occupation have undone the legacy of the peaceful end of the Cold War confrontation and the opening of the global community and Russian Federation to cooperation at the turn of the century", the statement added.

Crimea and Sevastopol adopted declarations of independence on March 11, 2014. Russia said the vote repaired a historical wrong after the historically Russian region was handed over to Ukraine 60 years ago.

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