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Naryshkin does not rule it out that Duma members will travel to monitor elections to Rada

The rate of freedom and democracy of the elections under current conditions, Speaker of the State Duma said

MOSCOW, September 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Sergey Naryshkin, Speaker of the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament, does not rule it out that House members will travel to Ukraine to monitor elections to the Verkhovna Rada. However, he doubts that the necessary guarantees of safety and freedom of speech can be provided for Russian parliamentarians.

The House Speaker told Russian news agencies in an interview, "We continue to analyse the situation and, naturally, do not rule out participation of House members as monitors."

For this to become possible, Naryshkin pointed out, "We must get affirmative answers to a number of questions, including one about the degree to which the safety of our colleagues State Duma members will be ensured for them to perform the functions of monitors, as well as the safety of movement, and freedom of speech for them"".

The rate of freedom and democracy of the elections under current conditions - of ceasefire in the civil war - causes many questions, speaker of the Russian State Duma Sergei Naryshkin said in an interview with Russian information agencies on Saturday.

“Thank God, ceasefire is now announced in that civil war, though I would like it to be forever, not temporary, so that it could begin peace,” he said. “However, as yet this ceasefire is under the conditions, honestly speaking, of a civil war.”

Thus, he said, “the rate of freedom and democracy of the elections under these conditions also causes many questions.”

The skepticism about the rate of freedom and democracy of the October elections “comes from several important conditions,” the speaker said. He doubted “elections may be called absolutely free under the conditions of major limitations for the media and those of freedom of speech.”

As an example, he said “our [Russian] television channels [in Ukraine] are closed, a big group of our reporters is on the so-called ‘black lists.’” Besides, he said, “Our reporters have suffered violence, four were killed.”

Doubting democracy and freedom at the elections to the Verkhovna Rada emerges as “over several months, in fact, dismissed were factions of two political parties,” the Russian speaker said. “It is a very big question about political competition.”

Another reason is the problem of refugees, Naryshkin said. About one million Ukrainians “fled their native cities, houses running away from the death,” and about 815,000 crossed the border into Russia.

“Clearly, most of them simply cannot participate in the elections,” he said. “Thus, I am saying once again, the skepticism is very big, but, of course, it is a major event in Ukraine’s political life, and we would like very much this event to be with a positive sign.”

Russia hopes the elections will result in organisation of stable, democratic legal power in that country.

“But, anyway, this is a major important event in Ukraine’s political history, and we would like it to be positive, so that the elections bring the fraternal country to organisation of the legitimate, stable, democratic legal power, not to further legitimacy of the nationalists, and even national socialists,” he said.