Moscow looks for alternative to OSCE observers

The Central Election Committee is inviting election observers from three international bodies to monitor Russia's parliamentary poll on 2 December.

Committee Head Vladimir Churov says he's issuing invites to the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

The development follows Monday's announcement that parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, sent out invitations to 75 more members of these international bodies, bringing the total number to 300.

On Friday, the OSCE's election monitoring arm pulled out of the election.  ODIHR (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) said Moscow had not issued visas in time.

The ODIHR runs the OSCE's biggest election observation missions.