France Denounces Russian Election Amid Repression, Hails Opposition Demonstrations

France issued a sharp rebuke on Monday regarding the recent Russian presidential election, extending Vladimir Putin’s rule for another six years, amidst what it termed as “repression” and the absence of democratic conditions.

The French foreign ministry expressed disappointment, stating that the election’s outcome, which secured Putin’s fifth term, was expected. The absence of serious contenders, particularly after the sudden death of prominent critic Alexei Navalny, cast a shadow over the electoral process.

Highlighting the lack of conditions for a free and fair election, France condemned the increasing repression of civil society and opposition to the regime in Russia. The ministry commended the courage of Russian citizens who peacefully demonstrated against the infringement of their political rights.

Thousands responded to Navalny’s call and other opposition members to protest against Putin’s regime, symbolized by the “Noon Against Putin” movement. France acknowledged Navalny’s death, partly attributing it to the harsh conditions imposed by Russian authorities during his detention.

France lamented the absence of election observers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and criticized the holding of polls in regions of southern and eastern Ukraine under Russian occupation. President Emmanuel Macron signaled his refusal to congratulate Putin on his victory, citing Navalny’s death and the suppression of opposition voices as impediments to recognizing the legitimacy of the election.

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