BRUSSELS, September 16 (RAPSI) – The European Union does not recognize the legitimacy of the Crimean elections, because it does not recognize the legitimacy of Crimea’s accession to Russia, the European External Action Service (EEAS) said in a statement released Monday.

“The European Union continues to condemn the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and will not recognize it. In view of reports about local "elections" having taken place in Crimea and Sevastopol, we recall that the European Union recognizes neither the legal framework nor the legitimacy of these ‘elections’,” the statement says.

September 14 was the single voting day in 84 of the 85 Russian regions. Crimeans elected a parliament and municipal authorities. After counting 54.57% of the ballots,  United Russia won 71.4% of the vote and the Liberal Democratic Party over 8%.

Crimea, a largely Russian-speaking republic, moved for independence from Ukraine after having refused to recognize the legitimacy of the new government that came to power following the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych in February.

On March 17, President Putin signed a decree recognizing Crimea as an independent state. The same day, Putin and the leaders of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol signed a treaty on the unification of Crimea with Russia.

The United States and the EU have not recognized the legitimacy of Crimea’s accession to Russia and have accused Moscow of interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs. Russia has dismissed these allegations as unacceptable.