Russian nationals will be denied access to Russian diplomatic missions in Ukraine on Sunday, the presidential election day in Russia, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Friday, TASS reported.
"The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has passed a decision on the impossibility of organizing elections that violate Ukraine’s laws on the territory of diplomatic mission in Ukraine," he wrote on his Facebook account. "The Ukrainian Interior Ministry informs that security arrangements at Russian diplomatic missions in Ukraine, namely in Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa and Lvov, on Sunday, March 18, will not imply access to these facilities for Russian citizens wanting to cast their votes at the election."
The ministry said that elections "on the sovereign Ukrainian territory" are inadmissible. "Taking into account public protests in Ukrainian society, Russia’s disregard of the Ukrainian side’s legal demands and in a bid to avoid provocations and possible serious consequences, National Police and National Guard will be used to ensure proper securing arrangements at all diplomatic missions and institutions and adjacent territories in line with the Vienna Convention," Avakov stressed.
According to the Ukrainian interior minister, access to Russian diplomatic institutions will be granted only to people enjoying diplomatic status. "Other persons and Russian citizens will not be allowed to enter the diplomatic missions on that day. The Interior Ministry calls on diplomats and Russian nationals to obey by Ukraine’s legal demands, refrain from provocations and observe order and the Ukrainian law," he said.
Avakov also said that Russia’s charge d’affaires had been summoned to the interior ministry earlier in the day to be notified of Ukraine’s official position.