Motion for a resolution - B9-0255/2024Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on Russia’s undemocratic presidential elections and their illegitimate extension to the occupied territories

22.4.2024 - (2024/2665(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Sergey Lagodinsky, Jordi Solé, Francisco Guerreiro, Reinhard Bütikofer, Jan Ovelgönne
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0253/2024

Procedure : 2024/2665(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  
Texts tabled :
Debates :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on Russia’s undemocratic presidential elections and their illegitimate extension to the occupied territories


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia and on Ukraine, in particular those adopted since the escalation of Russia’s war against Ukraine in February 2022,

 having regard to the UN Charter,

 having regard to UN General Assembly Resolution ES-11/4 of 12 October 2022 entitled ‘Territorial integrity of Ukraine: defending the principles of the Charter of the United Nations’ and UN General Assembly Resolution 68/262 of 27 March 2014 entitled ‘Territorial integrity of Ukraine’,

 having regard to the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Russian Federation, Mariana Katzarova, of 15 September 2023 entitled ‘Situation of human rights in the Russian Federation’,

 having regard to the interim opinion of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) of the Council of Europe of 23 March 2021 on the Russian Federation’s constitutional amendments and the procedure for their adoption, adopted by the Venice Commission at its 126th Plenary Session,

 having regard to the report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights of 11 July 2023 entitled ‘Protecting Human Rights Defenders at Risk: EU entry, stay and support’,

 having regard to Article 28 of the UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the presidential elections held by Russia from 15 to 17 March 2024 were conducted without genuine political competition and in a highly restricted environment that was also exacerbated by Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine, and, as such, failed to meet any democratic standards; whereas Russia illegally organised voting in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories of Crimea, Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia, at times in the presence of armed Russian soldiers;

B. whereas the Russian authorities did not invite the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to observe its elections, which runs contrary to its commitments and obligations as an OSCE participating state; whereas recent changes to Russia’s electoral laws have made it virtually impossible to conduct any meaningful monitoring and have significantly restricted the role of the media; whereas those who were able to observe reported widespread voting infractions, including falsification of the final results and violations of election rules;

C. whereas Russia’s authoritarian regime has used such increasingly fraudulent and farcical elections for decades to provide a semblance of democracy in order to continue to concentrate all power in the hands of Vladimir Putin; whereas the government suppresses any dissent with the support of loyalist security forces, a subservient judiciary, a state-controlled media environment ensuring a continuous flood of propaganda and disinformation, and a legislature consisting of a ruling party and pliable opposition factions; whereas any presidential candidate with an anti-war stance was quickly disqualified;

D. whereas the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Russian Federation has concluded that there is no longer any safe space for civic action or political opposition within Russia, with the current state policy of criminalising any dissent being a culmination of ‘incremental and calculated restrictions on human rights in Russia over the past two decades’;

E. whereas the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission concluded in 2021 that Russia’s 2020 constitutional amendments, including the term-limit waiver for the incumbent president, contradict both the Russian Constitution and international legal principles;

F. whereas Putin’s regime has decimated a generation of Russian civil society, democratic political opposition, and human rights organisations, including Memorial and the Moscow Helsinki Group; whereas the EU hosts a variety of Russian dissidents and representatives of the media and civil society who were forced to leave Russia as their criticism of the government put them at significant risk of retaliation from the authorities; whereas nearly 20 000 people were detained between February 2022 and August 2023 for participating in protests, mainly against the war, and 663 of these people are facing criminal charges; whereas over 700 people are currently in jail in Russia as political prisoners;

G. whereas Alexei Navalny, a prominent democratic opposition figure and the 2021 laureate of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, perished in a Siberian penal colony on 16 February 2024, just weeks before the presidential elections; whereas Navalny was serving an unfounded, politically motivated prison sentence; whereas the full responsibility for his murder lies with the Russian state and with its president Vladimir Putin in particular;

H. whereas many Russian voters bravely expressed their anger and animosity towards the Putin regime and the farce it presented as elections, as there were various reports of resistance actions at polling stations; whereas thousands of voters heeded Navalny’s call to vote at noon on the last day of the elections as a silent form of protest;

I. whereas the Russian Federation has been carrying out an illegal, unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine since 24 February 2022; whereas this war of aggression constitutes a blatant and flagrant violation of the UN Charter and of the fundamental principles of international law; whereas since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, the Russian authorities have curtailed rights and individual liberties even further to stifle domestic dissent;

1. Denounces all electoral violations committed by the regime of Vladimir Putin during the Russian presidential elections from 15 to 17 March 2024, as well as the preceding long-standing and intentional destruction of any remnants of democracy in Russia; concludes that this performance by the Russian authorities had the single goal of creating the appearance of electoral legitimacy for Putin, his policy of relentless domestic repression and, most of all, the war of aggression against Ukraine;

2. Unequivocally condemns the illegal ‘elections’ conducted in the territories of Ukraine that Russia has temporarily occupied, namely the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and parts of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions; reiterates that it does not recognise the holding or outcome of these Russian ‘elections’ in the occupied territories of Ukraine; stresses that holding elections in these territories constitutes a clear breach of Ukrainian sovereignty and a distinct violation of international law, in particular the UN Charter; deplores the use of the threat of violence by the Russian authorities, as people were forced to vote in the presence of armed Russian soldiers; calls for EU restrictive measures against those involved in the organisation and execution of the illegal polls;

3. Acknowledges the bravery of the thousands of people in Russia protesting against Putin’s regime, including by acts of resistance during the elections; calls for the EU and the Member States to strengthen efforts to support civil society and democratic opposition both inside and outside Russia;

4. Reiterates, to this end, its call for an EU-wide multi-entry visa scheme for human rights defenders and politically persecuted individuals and for the existing flexibility to be used to address gaps in legislation, as proposed by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights in its 2023 report ‘Protecting Human Rights Defenders at Risk: EU entry, stay and support’; stresses, in this regard, that such schemes may also extend to opposition leaders, civil society activists and otherwise politically persecuted persons;

5. Urges the EU institutions and the Member States to prepare for a situation in which Russia, like Belarus, ceases issuing passports in its consulates, in which case it may be necessary for the EU and all its Member States to recognise de facto statelessness and issue travel documents, as provided for in Article 28 of the UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons;

6. Calls for the simplification of processes for Russian dissidents in the EU to register organisations and entities, open bank accounts and carry out other administrative tasks in order to allow them to continue their work in exile;

7. Demands the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, including Vladimir Kara-Murza, Ilya Yashin, Alexei Gorinov, Dmitry Ivanov, Ioann Kurmoyarov, Viktoria Petrova, Maria Ponomarenko, Aleksandra Skochilenko, Dmitry Talantov, Yuri Dmitriev, Lilia Chanysheva, Ksenia Fadeeva, Ivan Safronov and Oleg Orlov;

8. Calls on the Delegation of the European Union to the Russian Federation to monitor the situation and court cases of political prisoners in Russia as closely as possible, and to provide support where feasible;

9. Expresses support for the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Russian Federation, Mariana Katzarova, and calls on the Member States to ensure that the UN Human Rights Council extends her mandate again in 2024;

10. Reiterates its unwavering solidarity with the people of Ukraine and its support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, within its internationally recognised borders; demands that Russia and its proxy forces cease all military actions, withdraw all military forces from the entire internationally recognised territory of Ukraine, end forced deportations of Ukrainian civilians and release all detained Ukrainians;

11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the parliaments of the Member States and the Russian authorities.



Last updated: 24 April 2024
Legal notice - Privacy policy