International Election Observation Remains Sensitive In Ukraine

Tensions are on the rise amidst the Presidential elections

In the efforts to remove the possibility of election tampering by Russia, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin firmly stated, back in January, that Russians would not be welcome as observers for the presidential election of 2019.

On Monday 4th February, the Ukrainian Parliament – Verkhovna Rada submitted a draft law to Pyotr Poroshenko, which, if approved, would ban Russians from participating in international observation missions in Ukraine during the parliamentary or presidential elections, stating that "a person who is a citizen or a subject of a state that Verkhovna Rada regards as an aggressor or an occupant," as well as "a person suggested by a state that Verkhovna Rada regards as an aggressor or occupant" would not be allowed to observe the elections.

On the same day, President Petro Poroshenko also stepped up and directly stated on a live television program, that he will personally instruct for the Border Guard of Ukraine to deny entry to any Russian citizens, who attempt to enter the country with the aim of monitoring the presidential elections.

OSCE has hinted, that if the law were to be approved and Russian nationals were to be prohibited from monitoring the elections, they may end up having to refuse to conduct election observations for both parliamentary and presidential elections in Ukraine altogether.