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Foreign observers start registration at referendum on Crimea’s status

March 13, 2014, 16:43 UTC+3 SIMFEROPOL
At present, over 50 observers from 21 countries have been allowed to monitor the referendum
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© EPA/ARTUR SHVARTS

SIMFEROPOL, March 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Foreign observers, who will work at the referendum on Crimea’s status on March 16, have started registering, the Referendum Commission Chairman, Mikhail Malyshev, said.

“International observers will have a red certificate. Representatives of other organizations will have certificates of green and blue colors. We want as many observers as possible [to monitor the referendum],” Malyshev said.

At present, over 50 observers from 21 countries have been allowed to monitor the referendum. There are representatives from Israel, the USA, France, Italy, as well as several deputies of the European Parliament, the Referendum Commission Chairman said, adding that deputies of the Russian State Duma and the Federation Council, as well as representatives of Crimea’s political parties, would work at the referendum.

“We have sent invitations to political figures and experts in the field of election law. The commission is of great interest to specialists,” he said.

“Observers will start working on March 15 and stay in Crimea until the end of the voting,” Malyshev said.

The chairman said the authorities were ready to debate the OSCE address to send observers at the referendum. At the same time, Malyshev said, “I doubt that the OSCE can make such address. How can observers be sent if the referendum is considered illegitimate in advance?”

Earlier, OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter said he ruled out a possibility of sending observers to Crimea. “The referendum due to take place in Crimea on March 16, 2014 runs counter the Ukrainian Constitution and should be considered illegitimate,” Burkhalter said.

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