Moscow urges uniform OSCE election monitoring rules

Sergey Lavrov (AFP Photo / Kirill Kudryavtsev)
Members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) should introduce “generally acceptable” and clear regulations for election observation, says Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights is in charge of vote monitoring and currently lacks any clear rules “that would be based on uniform criteria rather than double standards, as is not the case,” Lavrov pointed out.

“Unfortunately, our Western partners flatly refuse to discuss such rules,” he told journalists.

Many OSCE member states “have ignored their obligation to incorporate the provision obliging them to invite international observers to monitor elections into their national legislation,” he said, as cited by RIA Novosti.

“We have done this and expect the same from our partners,” the Minister stressed.

"The OSCE has a CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization] proposal that was actively co-authored by Russia and Belarus that suggests approving basic principles of monitoring national elections in the OSCE member states," he said.

Moscow and Belarus are going to push for the OSCE monitoring system reform at the upcoming seminars and meeting between the members of the organization.

“Right now there is only one obligation in force: to invite international observers, as we do. As to how many, on what grounds and how the election monitoring should be organized – all these issues have yet to be agreed. So far, not such agreement has been reached in the OSCE and unfortunately its achievement has been blocked by Western countries,” Lavrov said.