The presidential candidate, acting president Vladimir Putin, commented at a request of journalists on the situation on March 18 in Ukraine, where restrictions were placed on the electoral rights of Russian citizens. He called the incident a disgrace, violation of all globally recognized principles of the international law. "But Russia will not respond in any way. For us, Ukraine and the Ukrainian people is a brotherly people. I've always talked about that. And we will not respond with any restrictions, but, on the contrary, we will do everything to make Ukrainians feel themselves in Russia at home," Putin said.
As reported by EADaily, on March 16, the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Arsen Avakov said that Russians living in Ukraine should not be admitted to the Russian diplomatic missions for voting in the presidential election. He was warmly supported by representatives of Ukrainian nationalists. The extremist groups "Svoboda", "Right Sector" and "National Corps" in a joint statement stressed that they would not allow any Russian presidential election in the territory of Ukraine.
On the night of 17 to 18 March, the building of the Russian embassy in Kiev, as well as the Russian Consulates General in Odessa, Lvov and Kharkov, were cordoned off by Ukrainian security forces. In turn, Ukrainian nationalists joined the blocking of polling stations. As a result, only diplomats and diplomatic representatives managed to take part in the voting.