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OSCE human rights body approves 24 Russian observers for Ukrainian election

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has selected 24 Russian representatives for the Ukrainian election observation mission, ODIHR Spokesperson Thomas Rymer informed TASS on Friday.

"ODIHR has just sent to the Central Election Commission of Ukraine the list of the names offered by OSCE participating States to take part as short-term observers for the ODIHR election observation mission for the presidential election in Ukraine. Included in the list are the names of the 24 people offered as observers by the Russian Federation," Rymer noted.

On February 26, Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko signed a law that prohibits Russian nationals and individuals proposed by Russia to be official observers at the presidential, parliamentary or local elections in the country, both personally or as members of international organizations. The OSCE ODIHR has criticized this move, stating that they would cooperate in accordance with the procedures established by the organization.

Earlier, the Central Election Commission of Ukraine has declined the request made by the ODIHR and refused to accredit two long-term observers from Russia within the ODIHR mission.

Peter Taylor, head of the OSCE ODIHR Election Monitoring Mission, pointed out that Kiev's stance on the issue was incongruous with OSCE principles. US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker likewise pointed to the need to let Russian observers monitor Ukraine's presidential election.

[Source: Itar Tass, Warsaw. 15Mar19]

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