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No observers sent from State Duma to Ukraine's elections

May 23, 2014, 14:10 UTC+3 23 23/5
"We have not sent observers to the polls for two reasons. The first is safety," Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said
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A worker examines papers for the presidential election in Ukraine

A worker examines papers for the presidential election in Ukraine

© EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

MOSCOW, May 23. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian parliament’s lower house State Duma did not send observers to Ukraine to monitor the presidential elections on May 25, the Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said in an interview on Echo of Moscow Radio.

"We have not sent observers to the polls for two reasons. The first is safety," he said.

"Better than I, you know the degree of anti-Russian hysteria created by Ukrainian authorities. You know the attitude toward our Russian journalists, regrettably. So, there are very many questions related to safety," he told radio editor in chief Alexei Venediktov.

The second reason is the character of elections and that their legitimacy is doubtful. "The elections will be held against the background of the large-scale operation of troops against the civilian population in the southeast of the country, under conditions of the wildest violation of human rights, violence toward political opponents and violence against media that is against the freedom of media and the freedom of information spread. Thus, of course they (the elections) cannot be viewed as free," the speaker said.

Naryshkin noted that still there was a hope that the elections would give an impetus to a wide public dialogue. The elections should be viewed as a mechanism. The way to the de-escalation of the crisis lies only through a dialogue, through a public agreement with the participation of all the political forces, he noted.

Naryshkin believes mediation is not needed to settle the crisis in Ukraine. "It is a Ukrainian crisis, and the Ukrainian society itself should find the strength and resolve the conflict," he said.

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