As long as the West [—] is using Crimea to trade with Russia – for gas, for relationships, for opening markets, for preserving GTS [gas transportation system] in Ukraine – until then they [the West] will use it.
International election observers deemed the presidential elections in Russia to be well organised and conducted in a correct and fair manner in comparison to Western countries, “in Russia people can express their will in a more direct and free way without the interference of those lobbies that work behind the scenes”.
None of the sources used by Sputnik are signatories to the declaration of principles for international election observation and code of conduct for international elections observations www.ndi.org/declaration_endorsing_orgs, . Sputnik does not mention the statement by Russian presidential election was well administered, but characterized by restrictions on fundamental freedoms and a lack of genuine competition www.osce.org/odihr/elections/375661, .
The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and therefore does not recognise the holding of elections in the Crimean peninsula. The OSCE/ODIHR observers did not conduct any activities in these illegally-annexed territories, participation of EU Member States' diplomats in observation activities within the framework of the OSCE/ODIHR EOM was also limited to the recognised territory of the Russian Federation. The EU remains unwavering in its support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. eeas.europa.eu/headquarters/headquarters-homepage/41606/statement-presidential-elections-russian-federation_en,