Ukrainian lawmakers on Thursday voted to ban Russians from monitoring a forthcoming presidential election, as tensions between the neighbours flare before the poll.
Kiev, fighting a Moscow-backed insurgency in eastern Ukraine, has said it suspects Russia of planning to interfere in the election.
Lawmakers also voted to allocate around USD350 million to the intelligence services to counter the perceived threat.
Thursday's measure would block Russian nationals from taking part in international election-monitoring missions, and would also apply to parliamentary and local votes.
The proposal has been condemned by Moscow and Kiev's Western allies alike.
Kurt Volker, the US special representative in Ukraine, said Russians should take part in monitoring as long as they were overseen by international organisations.
If they do not take part, this allows "people to question election," Volker wrote on Twitter ahead of the vote.
"No games. Ukraine needs to have confidence in its own democratic institutions," he said.
But there are a record number of candidates and the race remains unpredictable.
That year Moscow annexed Crimea and began backing rebels in a conflict in eastern Ukraine that has already claimed some 13,000 lives.
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