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Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, on March 26, 2024. (Contributor/Getty Images)
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The United States and the majority of European Union nations will not attend the Kremlin ceremony for Vladimir Putin's inauguration for another six-year presidential term on May 7.

France and several other EU states are anticipated to send representatives, despite a request from Kyiv. This diverse diplomatic reaction from Western powers highlights differences over how to handle the Russian leader more than two years after he launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

According to evidence published by election experts, observers, and media, the March 15-17 presidential election, which Putin "won" with 87% support, was the most rigged in Russia's modern history.

Estimates of vote rigging range from at least 22 million votes to about 31.6 million votes, without taking into account the online voting and the election at gunpoint in Russian-occupied territories of Ukraine. Russia also "brutally" violated the principles of international law when it organized the so-called voting in the occupied parts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson oblasts, and Crimea, Ukraine's ministry said.

On May 6, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry urged other countries and international organizations not to recognize the results of Russia's most recent presidential election, as well as Putin's legitimacy ahead of the inauguration.

The U.K. and Canada said they would not send anyone to attend the ceremony. According to an EU spokesperson, the bloc's ambassador to Russia will refrain from attending the ceremony, aligning with the stance of the majority of member states.

U.S. representatives also will not attend Vladimir Putin's inauguration, but Washington recognizes him as Russia's president, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on May 6.

When asked at a press briefing whether the U.S. recognizes Putin as Russia's legitimate head of state, Miller said that Washington "certainly did not consider that election free and fair, but he (Putin) is the president of Russia and is going to continue in that capacity."

Close to 20 EU member states would boycott the event, while seven others were anticipated to send representatives, a European diplomat told Reuters. Besides France, Hungary, and Slovakia were reportedly set to attend, two diplomatic sources said.

US soldier travels to Russia, arrested on suspicion of theft
Russia is currently holding a number of U.S. nationals on what are widely believed to be trumped up charges.



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