MOSCOW, September 6. /TASS/. Experts from Spain, Italy, Serbia, France, Switzerland and Sweden plan to visit polling stations in Moscow and other Russian cities on the single voting day to look how elections are held in Russia, they told TASS on Friday.
Earlier in the day, the experts met with Andrei Klimov, head of the Ad Hoc Commission on Protecting State Sovereignty and Preventing Interference in the Domestic Affairs of the Russian Federation.
Associate Professor Gregory Simmons from the Institute for Russian and European Studies of Uppsala University said that he had been fascinated by an opportunity to watch the process of voting in person.
"I want to see for myself what is the real situation so that I can pass this information to my friends and family and let them understand the difference between the way media puts it and the way it is," Simmons said.
Alberto Bianco, a deputy mayor of the Italian town of Barbaresco, said he was keen to learn how the electoral process functions in Russia.
"Beyond Russia, we can hear different, often uncomplimentary points of view," he said. "We would like our media to be attentive to what is really going on."
Bianco hailed the work of Russian law enforcement agencies.
"I have nowhere felt as safe as in Moscow. I can go out for a walk and be sure that nothing bad will happen to me," he said.
For his part, French political analyst Emmanuel Marc Andre Leroy, Secretary General of the National Sovereignty international movement and the founder of the Let’s Protect Donbass Children foundation, believes that the way the western media cover regional elections in Russia fits in the protracted anti-Russian campaign.
"I feel that everything will be all right in spite of the intentions of those who want the elections to fail," he said.
On September 8 - a single voting day, Russia will hold more than 5,000 elections. Among them are elections to 13 legislative assemblies, while six regions will elect their governors, 22 administrative centers will elect city parliaments, and three regional capitals will vote for heads of municipalities. Apart from that, four single-mandate districts (in the Khabarovsk, Novgorod, Sverdlovsk and Oryol regions) will hold by-elections to the State Duma (lower house of parliament).