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Russia unlikely to invite OSCE PA poll watchers to observe presidential vote, senator says

According to Konstantin Kosachev, the invitations will be sent to "organizations that have retained an objective, unbiased position and are not under the control of the West"

MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. The probability of Russia inviting poll watchers from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly to observe the 2024 presidential election is "next to zero," because the OSCE is "occupied by Western states" that have already made clear their intention to shun recognizing the vote as legitimate, Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament, or "senate") Deputy Speaker Konstantin Kosachev said.

"If you ask me whether an invitation will be sent to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, I will express [only] my personal opinion for now, as I am not authorized to preordain the final results of the approval process (currently taking place with the lower house State Duma on inviting international election observers - TASS); but, it is my opinion that this probability is next to zero given the fact that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is currently captured, under the occupation of Western countries, which have already declared that they will not recognize the legitimacy of Russia’s presidential election on principle, and which will do everything to discredit this election," the senior senator said at a press conference.

"This type of [election] observer is of the least interest to us," he added.

According to Kosachev, the relevant lawmakers are currently working on approving the final lists of inter-parliamentary organizations and parliaments that will receive invitations, and they are currently "at the advanced stage of preparing the invitations."

"There is a consensus in sight already. Of course, it will include organizations that have retained an objective, unbiased position and are not under the control of the West. They include the Parliamentary Assembly of Russia and Belarus, the CSTO [Collective Security Treaty Organization] Parliamentary Assembly, the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Asian Parliamentary Assembly, the ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] Parliamentary Assembly, the African Parliamentary Union and the Central American Parliament. In my opinion, these are the main [candidate] recipients [of invitations] among inter-parliamentary structures," he said.

In addition, Russia will send invitations to approximately 30-50 national parliaments that Russia considers to be partners.

"As for observers that will come here individually, their numbers are counted in the hundreds," the senior senator noted.

He expressed his certainty that "at the end of the day, the observation, organized on the parliamentary track, […] will be representative, authoritative and very serious."

The Federation Council has formally designated March 17, 2024 as the official date of Russia’s next presidential election. In turn, the Central Election Commission resolved that voting will take place over a three-day period on March 15-17, making it the first three-day presidential election in Russia’s history.