Ilya Shablinsky: Putin should get the same status as Lukashenka

17 March 2024

Source: Russian Helsinki Group [original source Rus.LSM.]

The world community should not recognise the results of the Russian presidential ‘elections’ and Vladimir Putin should, like Aleksandr Lukashenka, receive the status of ‘dictator of Russia’, Ilya Shablinsky, lawyer, human rights activist, professor of Constitutional Law and citizen of the Russian Federation, told Rus.LSM ‘TChK’ programme.

The Latvian Saeima has adopted a declaration stating that the Russian presidential ‘election’ has no democratic legitimacy. Asked whether other European countries would follow Latvia’s example in not recognising the results of this ‘election’ (as was the case with Aleksandr Lukashenka in 2020), or whether the West will once again recognise Vladimir Putin as legitimate president, as it did following the previous election in 2018, Shablinsky said that six years ago the world community as a whole did not have the grounds not to recognise the election that they do now.

‘Six years ago it was difficult for them to say that, but now they can,’ the human rights activist said. He himself believes there is no need to recognise the upcoming ‘election’ of the Russian president.

‘Putin should get the same status as Lukashenka – the authoritarian ruler of Russia, dictator of Russia. That would be the right thing to do,’ Shablinsky emphasised.

According to him, Putin himself would like his election to be recognised, although he is probably also ready for the fact that this may not happen.

‘Probably, he has already said that he doesn’t care. […] Because it’s obvious that he won’t be able to demonstrate even the degree of legitimacy that he had six years ago. In 2018, several candidates were permitted who could be considered his opponents,’ Shablinsky said.

Shablinsky admitted that at least half of Russian voters are ready to vote for Putin.

‘As with any dictator, a significant part of the population is ready to vote for him, given that he controls the entire media space,’ the political scientist said.

At the same time, Shablinsky pointed out that the views of a huge number of Russians are not taken into account in any way, so there are grounds ‘not to consider these elections as elections.’

Ilya Shablinsky also explained to Rus.LSM the grounds for not recognising the legitimacy of the presidential ‘election’ scheduled for 17 March.

Translated by Rights in Russia