Russia to send short-term observers to Ukraine as part of OSCE mission

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MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. Russia has received a notice from the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) asking to dispatch short-term observers to monitor the upcoming presidential election in Ukraine, so given that fact Moscow seeks to utilize its right, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

“On February 12, the Russian Foreign Ministry received an OSCE ODIHR circular request to send short-term observers to join the international mission monitoring the presidential election in Ukraine on March 31, 2019,” the ministry said. “The names of Russian candidates for that short-term mission will be submitted to the ODIHR as required by the invitation. We expect that they will be provided with all the conditions necessary to perform international observation functions.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry recalled that earlier Ukraine’s Central Election Commission had turned down the requests submitted by the ODIHR to accredit two Russian long-term observers as part of its mission. As a result, their trip was cancelled.

“Regardless of this fact, Russia will utilize its right to monitor the elections within an international mission in another OSCE member state, in this case in Ukraine,” the statement said. “Our steps are based on the mutual obligations of all OSCE members to provide reciprocal, and unimpeded access by observers to one another’s elections. This measure needs to ensure that electoral processes are transparent and democratic.”

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the ODIHR short-term observers are going to be keeping a close watch on the proceedings precisely on election day, while members of the long-term mission will be monitoring them throughout the electoral race – before, during and after the elections.

On February 7, the Ukrainian parliament, Verkhovna Rada, passed a law stipulating that “a person who is either a citizen or a subject of the state recognized by the Verkhovna Rada as an aggressor state and/or an invader state,” as well as “a person put forward [as an observer] by the state which the Verkhovna Rada recognized as an aggressor state and/or an invader state,” cannot be granted permission to monitor the presidential, parliament and local elections as an observer.

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