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Russia expects 1,000 foreign observers at presidential polls — official

January 12, 3:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW

During the 2016 State Duma elections, a total of 774 foreign observers were invited

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Vasily Likhachev, a member of Russia’s Central Election Commission.

Vasily Likhachev, a member of Russia’s Central Election Commission.

© Mikhail Tereshchenko/TASS

MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. About 1,000 foreign observers are expected to monitor the March 18 presidential election in Russia, said Vasily Likhachev, a member of Russia’s Central Election Commission.

"I think that the number of international observers may reach about 1,000 people," the official told the international affairs committee of the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, on Thursday.

He added that CEC chairman Ella Pamfilova has sent letters to leaders of the two chambers of the Russian parliament, the State Duma and the Federation Council, in order to "determine geographical trends" and other issues related to foreign observer missions.

Likhachev said that a mission of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which visited Russia last December, resolved to send a full-fledged mission of 80 long-term and 420 short-term observers to the Russian election. Long-term observers are due to arrive in Russia in early February.

Under the law, invitations to foreign observers can be sent by the incumbent head of state, the Federation Council, the State Duma, the Russian government and the Central Election Commission of Russia.

During the 2016 State Duma elections, a total of 774 foreign observers representing 63 countries and 11 international organizations were invited to Russia.

The head of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, Leonid Slutsky, earlier said that Russia will not invite observers from the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), which deprived the Russian delegation of key rights in 2014.

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