Norwegian MFA about so-called Russian election: Not free, not fair, not democratic

By admin - March 18, 2024 The Independent Barents Observer

“The so-called election in Russia was neither free nor fair. It was not not an election the way we know from democracy,” Barth Eide says in a statement.

He also condemns the fact that the vote was held in parts of Ukraine that are occupied by Russia.

“This is a serious violation of international law,” he underlines.

The foreign minister is strongly concerned about the mounting level of political repression and expresses support to all Russians working for change.

“The election took place as prominent regime critics and opposition forces are in prison, locked away in remote penal colonies or forced into exile [and] the main opposition leader Aleksei Navalny died in Putin’s penal colony,” he says.

“I want to express my sympathy and support to the Russians that still dare to work for, and envision, a different and better Russia,” he underlines and adds that “Norway condemns Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine.”

The statement from Espen Barth Eide is a sharp contrast to the statement made by former Norwegian PM Erna Solberg in 2018.

Former PM Erna Solberg congratulates Vladimir Putin in 2018

“Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, I congratulate you with the reelection as president of the Russian Federation.

“Norway emphasises a good and constructive relationship with Russia. As neighbours in the north we have many mutual interests and important challenges that best can be addressed jointly.”

“Our two countries have developed an extensive cooperation and wide-reaching contact within a series of areas. The Norwegian government looks forward to good cooperation and contact with Russia in fields of common interest,” Solberg underlined.

The so-called elections in 2018 came four years after Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and occupation of parts Ukraine’s Lugansk and Donetsk regions. In 2018, Putin recorded 77,66 percent of the votes. In 2024, the Kremlin’s official result was more than 87 percent.