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18 Mar, 2024 12:10

Putin brushes off Western election rebukes

Don’t expect a standing ovation from nations that seek to contain Russia, the president told supporters
Putin brushes off Western election rebukes

Western criticism of the Russian political system and its elections as supposedly undemocratic is hypocritical and irrelevant to the nation, President Vladimir Putin has told the media after securing a new term in office.

The Russian leader urged the citizens who cast their votes for him not to heed the statements coming from the US and its allies in the wake of his victory. Speaking at a press conference overnight, after his win was confirmed on Sunday evening, he said the negative reaction that branded the election as neither free nor fair was “predictable.”

“What did you expect? For them to stand up in applause or something? They are fighting against us, including with arms,” he said.

According to Putin, the verbal attacks are really directed not at him personally, but at “the forces that stand behind me, which seek to strengthen Russia, to improve its sovereignty, defense, and economic independence.” Meanwhile, foreign critics seek to contain the nation, he claimed.

During the conference, NBC correspondent Keir Simmons questioned the legitimacy of the Russian election, citing several points of contention between the Washington and Moscow.

Putin stated that the US has its own issues, considering that one of the leading presidential candidates, whom he did not identify, is being attacked by the courts – which he described as “the application of the administrative resource through the judicial system.” He called the situation “laughable” and “a worldwide shame” for America.

”I have every reason to believe that no democracy, at least when it comes to electoral campaigning, can be seen in some Western nations, including the US,” Putin stated.

Similarly-worded statements disparaging the Russian election came from a number of Western countries. For example, Latvian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said in a statement that his government does not consider the “falsified and simulated procedure an election,” but rather “a tragic farce.”

The Kremlin dismissed the accusations coming from some Western states. “If we talk about the illegitimacy of elections in our country, then we should probably talk about the illegitimacy of those 87 percent of the votes of the population…that were cast for President Putin. This is absurd,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a media briefing.

The heads of state of China and India as well as a number of leaders from Central Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and other parts of the world have already congratulated Putin on his landslide win, according to the Kremlin and their public statements.