H.E. Mr. K. Klimovskiy

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Mauritius

With quite confused feelings I have read the article “Manif monstre contre Poutine” published on January 29, 2018 in Le Mauricien. The article contains a set of different and sometimes awkward facts that are supposed to underline high number of people protesting against Russian authorities. The role of Mr. Navalny as “significant opposition activist” was singled out. In this connection, I would like to attract everybody’s attention to the fact that Mr. Navalny has an existing criminal sentence and thus has no right to run for the presidency. He is well aware of it but still continues to make provocative declarations in this respect acting in his self-serving interests and tries to ruin public order. Some Western political figures that are hostile to Russia care a lot for his destiny. It is interesting that Mr. Navalny is not the only one to be reasonably rejected to run for the presidency, but Western mass media does not refer to anyone else. This is the person, whom certain Western political powers would like to see in Russian politics. However, let me assure you that they have made a wrong choice. Mr. Navalny does not represent a real political challenge and his political role and influence must not be overestimated.

Now I would like to touch another aspect. We see that according to the author of the above-mentioned article, “Monster manifestations” took place in more than 120 cities of Russia and united thousands of participants. However, according to official estimations, there were only 5000 individuals (not 3500 as the author mentioned in the article) and a number of cities where those protest were authorized – is 46, in 8 other cities they took place in violation of the existing legislation requirements. In million-person cities – Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg total number of participants was 3500, the remaining 1500 – is for other cities.  Let’s make a simple calculation and what we will see? On average – around 30 protestors per city. Is this called “Monster Manifestations”? I do not think so. We also see that the number of detained protesters is 266 but all of them were released the same day and only 2 activists were actually arrested for violation of public order.

The reasons of some Western political forces are clear.  They do not like the independent policy of the Russian Federation. They do not like that Russia rejects the monopoly of force and tries to conduct its policy based on principles of International Law. Indeed Russia opposes attempts to destabilize and weaken international relations as this could lead to a chaotic and ever less controllable slide towards greater tension in the world. We support joint attempts to ensure a democratic and fair world based on strict respect for norms of International Law, the United Nations Charter, recognition of the unquestionable value of cultural and civilizational diversity, national sovereignty, and the right of all countries to decide their future freely, without external pressure.

But how can we explain such an abhorrent article in the newspaper of the Russia-friendly country that shares our views on many aspects of international life? In the country where more than 800 graduates of Soviet and Russian universities are living and working united in the proper Association etc. Our countries have always been connected with a long-term friendship and this March we are celebrating 50th Anniversary of the establishment of Russian-Mauritian diplomatic relations. Who decided that it is necessary to mislead Mauritian readers creating false impression about Russian reality making much ado about nothing?

On the 18th of March, 2018 the President Elections of the Russian Federation will take place. Russia is a country with about 147 millions of population and figures, indicated in all the materials related to the above-mentioned topic, obviously show us that so colorfully depicted protests do not reflect the real situation in my country, which chose its democratic way long time ago. Russian people do not support the idea of boycott, because it actually means that they do not use their right to vote. Voters turnout will be high.

This time as always there will be several candidates taking part in the presidential race, who represent oppositional parliamentary parties – such as the Communist Party and the Liberal Democratic Party as well as representatives of non-parliamentary opposition. Observers from various countries and international organizations are invited to supervise the elections. Elections will be held in accordance with all the international requirements. High-level control of electoral process will be provided not only by the Central Electoral Committee, but by the civil society and by the above-mentioned observers as well, involving modern technologies.

In conclusion, I would like to avail myself of this opportunity and cordially invite my compatriots, including those who live here permanently and those who will be in Mauritius temporarily, to actively participate in the presidential elections and vote in accordance with their choice. The polling station will be opened on the 18th of March, 2018 at our Embassy in Floreal.