Russia summons Australian envoy over post condemning voting in occupied Ukraine

By Thomson Reuters Mar 25, 2024 | 10:47 AM

(Reuters) – The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the Charge d’Affaires of the Australian embassy in Moscow on Monday to complain about a social media post condemning the holding of Russian presidential elections on parts of Ukraine Moscow claims to have annexed.

Russia held voting in its presidential election in Ukrainian territories it says are now parts of Russia, including Crimea, which it captured from Ukraine in 2014, and parts of four regions it seized following its 2022 invasion.

In a statement on the Telegram messaging service, the Australian embassy wrote: “The holding of the vote on the territory of Ukraine is a flagrant violation of international law”.

Russia’s foreign ministry said it had summoned the envoy, strongly protested and demanded the embassy take the message down.

President Vladimir Putin won 87% of the vote in the election held on March 15-17. Western governments condemned the election as unfair and undemocratic, while China, India and North Korea congratulated the veteran leader on extending his rule by a further six years.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Peter Graff)