WARSAW, September 26 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia promises to fulfil its obligations to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe /OSCE/ at the parliamentary elections, but calls for clear regulations for the activity of its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights /ODIHR/, deputy head of humanitarian cooperation and human rights department at Russia’s foreign ministry and member of the Russian delegation at the OSCE meeting on human rights Andrei Nikiforov said on Monday.
He assured the meeting participants that “Russia will fulfil its obligations and will invite international observers to the elections.” At the same time he stressed that Russia will “follow strictly the Russian legislation.”
“We follow attentively ODIHR’s efforts to implement decisions of the foreign ministers’ council in Brussels, which sets a task to improve methods of elections,” he added. “There is something here, the office has to do.”
ODIHR “still lacks straight-forward criteria for estimation of election processes and clear procedures for forming its missions,” he said. “Russia’s position remains unaltered – it is necessary to have clear norms for activities of ODIHR at all stages of election processes, beginning from formation of monitoring missions to comments on results of elections.”
Speaking about other topics of the meeting in Warsaw, the Russian representative said that “on one hand, democratic processes are becoming more active in the OSCE space, but on the other, still major challenges for governments and civil society remain in growth of race intolerance, radical nationalism, demonstrations of extremism, racism and race intolerance.”
“The major human right – the right for life – is being trampled,” he continued referring to the execution of Troy Davis in the USA, “despite the fact that his guilt had not been proven fully.”
“This is absolutely unacceptable and causes great concern,” Nikiforov added.
“In the times of complicated economic situation we are experiencing now, at the biggest risk are the most vulnerable layers of the society,” he continued. “We should pay special attention to protection of national minorities, including the phenomenon of statelessness, which is outrageous for Europe.”
“We hope that the OSCE minority commissioner will take an active position in this matter,” he said.
Nikiforov explained that in the framework of a two-week meeting Russia hopes also for a wide discussion of the topic of liberalisation of visa regime in the OSCE space.