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The Daily Vertical: An Unrecognizable Duma? (Transcript)

  • Brian Whitmore

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.

The Verkhovna Rada will shun the State Duma.

Ukraine's parliament has passed a resolution declaring that it will not recognize Russian's new legislature as legitimate because some of its members were elected in the illegally annexed Crimean Peninsula.

Ukrainian prosecutors, meanwhile, have followed up by opening a criminal case against electoral officials in Crimea.

Now, this, of course, was to be expected.

There is just no way Ukraine can recognize a legislature that was partially elected on territory that was forcefully and illegally stolen from it.

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But the question now is, will anybody else follow their lead?

Several countries, including Lithuania, Poland, and the United States have said they don't recognize the legitimacy of the elections in Crimea.

But, so far, only Ukraine has refused to recognize the new State Duma entirely.

The Prague-based European Values think tank is trying to change all that.

It has launched a petition calling on all democratic parliaments to withhold recognition from the Russian State Duma, suspend all interparliamentary cooperation with it, and place Crimean electoral officials, as well as lawmakers who won seats there, under international sanctions.

Russia crossed an important line on Sunday. They held elections on somebody else's territory.

They held elections on the first forcefully annexed territory in Europe since World War II.

And by holding elections there, they hoped to legitimize this in the eyes of the world.

They hoped, once and for all, to establish a fait accompli.

And we'll soon see whether this ploy was successful or whether Russia elected an unrecognizable Duma.

Keep telling me what you think on The Power Vertical's Twitter feed and on our Facebook page.

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