KIEV, January 24. /TASS/. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) may refuse to send its observers to monitor the Ukrainian presidential election if it proves impossible to include Russian nationals in its delegation, Head of the Ukrainian Institute for Analysis and Political Management Ruslan Bortnik told the "112 Ukraina" TV channel.
"Ukraine is in a difficult situation here and if we keep emphasizing this position, then the OSCE may choose to refrain from monitoring the election," he said, pointing out that the OSCE did not consider Russia to be an aggressor country.
"We haven’t severed diplomatic ties with Russia so the OSCE does not see Ukraine’s position as coherent. Moreover, just like most international organizations, the OSCE does not consider Russia to be an aggressor country, while only the Council of Europe made a similar decision," Bortnik noted.
The expert believes that Ukraine needs to adopt the path of negotiations. "There is a need for dialogue on Russian candidates for the observer mission. It could be public figures," he said.
Bortnik was confident that the presence of Russian observers "will in no way influence the electoral process."
On January 18, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow had received the OSCE’s invitation to send observers to monitor the Ukrainian presidential election scheduled to take place on March 31. Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko later said Russia planned to send its monitors to Ukraine as part of an OSCE delegation. Meanwhile, Russia’s Central Election Commission has made up a list of 14 candidates.
However, Ukrainian top diplomat Pavel Klimkin had said in a letter to Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir that Kiev would not have Russian nationals as observers.
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s Central Election Commission called on other countries and international organizations to take Kiev’s position into consideration, reiterating that Ukraine viewed Russia as an aggressor country and would prosecute all those who crossed the border "seeking to harm the country’s interests."