Iryna Gerashchenko: Ukraine will continue to 'squeeze out' Russians from all missions until occupation of Crimea, Donbas ends
Verkhovna Rada First Deputy Chairperson, Ukraine's envoy to the Trilateral Contact Group's humanitarian subgroup Iryna Gerashchenko has responded to a response from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) office on Ukraine's refusal to allow Russian citizens monitor Ukraine's upcoming presidential elections.
She said Ukraine would continue to prohibit Russian citizens from taking part in missions until Russia ends its occupation of Crimea and Donbas.
"I, as a co-author of the law banning Russian observers during our elections, am pleased with yesterday's vote in the parliament. We will continue to squeeze Russians out of all missions until Crimea and Donbass are de-occupied. We remind the OSCE and other organizations that we should not play along with evil and allow Russia to discredit these organizations and contribute to their degradation," Gerashchenko said on Facebook on Friday.
Gerashchenko said Ukraine's participants in the Trilateral Contact Group (TCG) have consistently fought to reduce the number of Russians in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission (SMM).
"A strange coincidence: as soon as the composition of the SMM changed and there were fewer Russians and their satellites, the SMM immediately began to record columns of Russian equipment, new Russian radar systems, etc.," she said.
As reported, on February 7, Ukraine's parliament adopted a law that prohibited citizens of Russia and persons nominated by Russia to be official observers at the presidential, parliamentary and local elections in Ukraine.