VIENNA, September 17. /TASS/. The evaluations and commentaries by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights regarding Russia’s elections cannot be considered as credible, Russia’s permanent representative to the OSCE, Alexander Lukashevich, said at a meeting of the OSCE’s Permanent Council in reply to a statement by the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Chairperson Margaret Cederfelt.
Lukashevich recalled that there were no universally accepted rules in the OSCE of monitoring the elections and respectively no chance of introducing some sort of a gold standard in this respect. Russia has repeatedly addressed the ODIHR and all Western counterparts with a reminder to this effect and systematically called for devising and adopting a corresponding methodology applicable to all member-states.
"These discussions have lasted for many years, but a certain group of countries has blocked this initiative. In this light, any evaluations or comments by the Parliamentary Assembly and the ODIHR about the way the voting in Russia is organized and about the election process in general cannot be regarded as independent and credible," Lukashevich said.
Earlier, the OSCE said on its website that it would be unable to send monitors to Russia’s State Duma elections due to what was described as limitations imposed by Russian authorities on the election observation.
The elections of the eighth State Duma are due on the single voting day, September 19, 2021. The process of casting ballots will be extended over three days: September 17, 18, and 19. Alongside the State Duma elections, there will be direct elections of the heads of nine Russian regions (in another three regions the top executive officials will be elected by the local legislatures) and the elections of 39 regional parliaments.