Russians in Ukraine to be blocked from voting in presidential poll: Kiev

Supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin rally to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea at Sevastopol's Nakhimov Square

Supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin rally to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Russia's annexation of Crimea at Sevastopol's Nakhimov Square

Members of Ukrainian national groups were reported to have gathered on a street near the Russian Embassy in the Ukrainian capital.

"It is a blatant violation of global obligations, worldwide law, and violation of our citizens' rights", Maya Grishina said.

Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has treated it as a Russian territory since thus granting its citizens access to vote in this year's presidential election.

However, with the amendments to Russian law, the government made a decision to hold elections on the fourth anniversary of Crimea annexation - March 18, 2018.

It is Russia's first presidential election since the annexation, which prompted pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine to take up arms against the state, sparking a conflict that has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

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Russian authorities have organized four polling stations in diplomatic missions located in Ukraine, namely in Kiev, Kharkiv, Lviv, and Odessa.

"A note was sent to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry demanding that our diplomatic mission and consulates general be allowed to organize and conduct the elections. Other individuals and citizens of Russian Federation will not be allowed to enter diplomatic establishments on that day", reads the statement.

"The violation of territorial integrity of a sovereign state and the illegal occupation have undone the legacy of the peaceful end of the Cold War confrontation and the opening of the global community and Russian Federation to cooperation at the turn of the century", the statement added.

Chairman of Crimea's election commission Mikhail Malyshev earlier said that the global observers come from Austria, the United Kingdom, Venezuela, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Spain, Italy, Lebanon, Pakistan, Malaysia, Serbia, Ukraine, Finland, France and Sweden. Nauert blasted the 2014 referendum in Crimea as to whether the region should join Russian Federation.

Russian Central Electoral Commission registered Putin as a presidential candidate on February 6.

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