Nationwide voting in the Russian Federation on constitutional amendments concluded on 1 July. Some amendments concern changes in the political system and the work of the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
The European Union regrets that, in the run up to this vote, campaigning both for and against was not allowed, thereby denying voters access to balanced information.
We expect all reports and allegations of irregularities, including voter coercion, multiple voting, violation of secrecy of the vote and allegations of police violence against a journalist who was present to observe, to be duly investigated.
An addition to Article 79 of the Constitution provides for primacy of the Russian Constitution over decisions of interstate bodies based on international treaties. The Venice Commission of the Council of Europe, of which Russia is a member, has considered this addition incompatible with Russia’s international obligations and recommended that this addition be removed or the wording amended. We expect Russia, regardless of any amendments to its constitution, to live up to its international obligations, including its obligation to execute European Court of Human Rights judgements.