PARIS, March 5 (Itar-Tass) —— The French authorities stated Vladimir Putin’s “undeniable victory” in the March 4 presidential election.
French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said on Monday, March 5, that President Nicolas Sarkozy and Foreign Minister Alain Juppe would comment on the Russian election within the next several hours.
Valero said that France would continue cooperation with Russia on key international issues.
“Russia is an important partner whose support is needed for resolving the crisis in Syria,” the diplomat said.
At the same time, he said that “Paris is now studying the preliminary report of the OACE international observer mission.”
International observers from the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said that the March 4 presidential election in Russia complied with international standards but irregularities occurred all the same.
PACE member Tonino Picula of Croatia said the election procedures met the international standards, but made it clear that Russia had not performed its international obligations in full.
He said that equal conditions had not been created for all candidates.
There was no real competition in the election, he said, adding that the outcome was known well in advance.
Tiny Kox, head of the PACE observer mission, said the election was not quite fair and noted that web cameras and transparent ballot boxes could not resolve mistrust in the election and its fairness.
Swiss diplomat Heidi Tagliavini of the ODIHR said the observations were based on the vote counting and stressed that members of local election commissions had not always adhered to the established procedures and ballots had been placed in ballot boxes unlawfully in several instances.
She said the observer mission would release the final report in two months giving recommendations to the Russian authorities.
Meanwhile, the observer mission will continue working to watch the investigation of irregularities and violations and would return to Russia in a month.
Tagliavini said it is up to the Russian people to recognise the outcome of the election or not.