Russia: How countries reacted to Vladimir Putin's landslide election victory

The West called the elections 'unfair' and 'undemocratic'

Russia elections Russian incumbent President Vladimir Putin, who was declared winner of the presidential election by the country's electoral commission, is seen on a screen on the stage as he attends a rally in Russia | Reuters

As the West rallied to criticise Russian Vladimir Putin’s landslide election victory, India and China congratulated him and stressed promoting strategic partnership with Moscow further. 

However, the West along with Russia's independent vote monitoring group, Golos (Voice), called the elections “unfair” and “corrupt”. Putin’s election victory was the most fraudulent and corrupt polls in the country's history, said the Russian watchdog in a statement. 

“Never before have we seen a presidential campaign that fell so far short of constitutional standards,” said the group.

The Russian watchdog also added that the election could not be considered genuine as "the campaign took place in a situation where the fundamental articles of the Russian constitution, guaranteeing political rights and freedoms, were essentially not in effect". 

The government claimed that the turnout was the highest in history at 74 per cent of the electorate. 

Voting also took place in the Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine: Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea.

While the West condemned Putin's victory on Monday as undemocratic.

In Brussels, EU foreign ministers dismissed the election result as a sham and stressed the mistreatment and death of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. 

"Russia's election was an election without choice," German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said at the start of the meeting.

French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne said Paris had taken note of the "special election operation". "The conditions for a free, pluralistic and democratic election were not met," his ministry said. 

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron said the election outcome highlighted the "depth of repression" in Russia. "Putin removes his political opponents, controls the media, and then crowns himself the winner. This is not democracy," he added. 

France and Britain also condemned the fact that Russia held its elections in occupied regions of Ukraine that it claims to have annexed during the war. 

Ukraine's Zelenskyy also criticised Russia's election saying it has no legitimacy. "It is clear to everyone in the world that this figure (Putin)... is simply sick for power and is doing everything to rule forever," Zelenskyy said.

A White House spokesperson said that Russia's election was "obviously not free not fair". 

India, China among nations to congratulate Putin

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Putin on his election win and said he was looking forward to boosting ties to develop their "special and privileged" strategic partnership in the years to come. 

“Warm congratulations to H.E. Mr. Vladimir Putin on his re-election as the President of the Russian Federation. Look forward to working together to further strengthen the time-tested Special & Privileged Strategic Partnership between India and Russia in the years to come,” Modi wrote on X.

In his congratulatory message to Putin, Xi Jinping said that the Russian people have united as one, overcome challenges, and made steady progress toward development and revitalisation. 

Xi also said that Putin's victory reflect the Russian people's support for him. Beijing is ready to promote close strategic ties with Moscow further, he added. 

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also congratulated Putin. 


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