MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. The Russian side will not invite observers from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) for the Russian presidential election in 2018, head of the State Duma Committee for Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky told TASS.
"We won’t invite the PACE observers [to the Russian presidential election,]" Slutsky reported. "In conditions when Russia is not participating in the PACE operation for the third year in a row, it is doubtable whether the issue of observers should be placed for discussion at all," he said.
As for inviting observers from other international structures, in particular such as the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States, "the lists are still being formed," Slutsky added.
State Duma Vice Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy, who is supervising international activity in the lower chamber of parliament, earlier told TASS that Russia would not send its delegation to the PACE session in January, because no amendments protecting the rights of national delegations from discrimination had been introduced to the assembly’s regulation.
According to the law on the Russian presidential election, the incumbent head of state, the Federation Council, the State Duma, the Russian government and the Russian Central Election Commission may send invitations to foreign observers following the publication of a decision settling the election day.
The Russian presidential election will be held on March 18, 2018.