Polish foreign ministry concerned about elections in Russia

The Polish Foreign Ministry has expressed concerns over the legitimisation of Russia's newly-elected parliamentarians due to the suppression of opposition candidates and the restriction of access to information by Russia's authorities.

According to Russia's electoral commission, the ruling United Russia party won the election to the lower house of parliament, the Duma, by gaining 49.79 percent of the vote.

Such a result gives United Russia more than two-thirds of all seats in the 450-member lower house.

The country's opposition, led by the imprisoned Kremlin critic, Alexei Navalny, say the election was rigged.

The Polish Foreign Ministry in its Monday statement expressed "disappointment with Russian authorities preventing deployment of an OSCE observation mission."

According to the ministry, "such action calls into question the intentions of the Russian Federation with regards to respecting democratic values and constitutes an unjustifiable attempt to undermine norms which were developed collectively and which apply in all OSCE, UN, and Council of Europe member states."

"A consistent, systemic campaign of the Russian Federation directed at Russian civil society, the opposition, and the free media hindered access to independent information, made it impossible for the representatives of the opposition to run in the elections, and severely hampered the ability of Russians to make a choice in accordance with their preferences. Such a situation may raise doubts with reference to the legitimacy of the new deputies," the ministry said.

The ministry also said it did not recognise the vote carried out in Crimea, a peninsula annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014.

"The Ministry also condemns mass granting of Russian passports to Ukrainian citizens and organising electronic voting in the territory of Donbas," the statement also said.

Both the United States and the European Union have said the elections had not been transparent. The Kremlin managed to block major contenders from election lists and suppressed communication promoting independent candidates.