Furious Russians summon Australian official over social media post criticising election

Russian officials have summoned a top Australian diplomat in Moscow for a please explain over a social media post describing the country’s presidential election as a “flagrant violation of international law”.

A statement on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website revealed chargé d’affaires Jeremy Guthrie had been “summoned” on Friday so it could lodge “a strong protest”.

A chargé d’affaires is the representative of an ambassador while they are away from their country of accreditation. 

Russia’s presidential election was held from Match 15 to 17 and incumbent Vladimir Putin won with almost 90 per cent of the vote, although many experts said it was rigged.

During the election, the Australian embassy in Moscow’s official Telegram account posted a statement saying the fact the vote was also being conducted in parts of Ukraine that Russia had annexed was a “violation of international law”.

Telegram is an encrypted messaging service used widely in Russia.

The post also said Australia “strongly condemns” Russia’s efforts to “annex foreign territory and deprive Ukrainian citizens of their fundamental rights”.

Western leaders and governments reiterated similar messages during and after Russia’s election.

Posted , updated 

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