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Europe refuses to monitor Russian election

The Russian Central Elections Committee has assured voters that December’s parliamentary ballot will be free and fair, despite what it calls a regrettable decision by European observers to pull out.

On Friday the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said that it cannot send its representatives because it was denied visas for its observers. The U.S. State Department has welcomed the move.

But Russia says it has abided by all the procedures and has even delivered visas to Warsaw for all the election watchdog's delegation members.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stressed it will do everything necessary to allow international observers to oversee the election in December.

Meanwhile, Dmitry Babich, a political analyst from ‘Russia Profile’ magazine says he doesn’t “see how declaring certain countries undemocratic can help security and co-operation in Europe”.

Babich says “If the OSCE basically boycotts the parliamentary election, that’s a very bad omen for the presidential election as well. That’s because the Russian state system only works if both branches of power – the executive and the legislative – operate together and if the laws adopted by the State Duma are signed by the President. If one of the entities is doubted, the other institution cannot operate properly”.

However, the analyst expressed hope that “Russia and the OSCE will iron out the differences”.

“There is still time for Russia to issue visas for OSCE observers and for the OSCE to drop its rhetoric and to send its observers to Russia as it was planned,” he said.