MOSCOW, August 1. /TASS/. Representatives from Western countries in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe block the fixing of basic principles in election monitoring within the framework of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), a top Russian diplomat said, adding that double standards in the Office’s activity persisted as a result.
"The experience of Russia’s participation in the work of ODIHR’s missions to observe elections has confirmed that it is often biased, tendentious, lacks transparency or any common rules in determining the scope of monitoring," said Ivan Soltanovsky, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for European Cooperation.
"Russia has been long in favor of having order established in that sphere," he added in an interview with TASS timed to the signing of the Helsinki Final Act 40 years ago.
The diplomat said that back in 2007, Russia submitted to the OSCE a draft on basic principles for ODIHR in its observation activity. "Unfortunately, the West is blocking it," he added.
As a result, the situation persists in ODIHR, when "a positive verdict on the results of monitoring is mainly passed on the countries situated only ‘west of Vienna’," he said.
This demonstrates "double standards" in its activity, when ODIHR prefers "turning a blind eye" to drawbacks existing in the election system of the West, and at the same time making extremely negative decisions as to election processes in post-Soviet countries, including in Russia," he added.
Some 25 documents have already been prepared for a session of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Belgrade on December 3-4, the director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for European Cooperation told Tass on Saturday.
"It is difficult to forecast which matters and draft decisions we will be able to coordinate," Ivan Soltanovsky said in an interview timed to the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Helsinki Final Act.
Soltanovsky said Moscow was satisfied with close cooperation with the Serbian OSCE chairmanship at all levels. "We mark a bid of our Serbian colleagues to play the role of an ‘honest broker’ taking into account in a balanced manner the interests of the member countries, also Russian, in the program of organization’s activity" he noted.
"We, for our part, are ready to make constructive contribution to preparations for the forthcoming meeting in accordance with the Russian national interests," he added.