KIEV, February 4. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) has registered a bill to prohibit Russian representatives from engaging in international monitoring missions for the Ukrainian presidential and parliamentary elections, Verkhovna Rada Deputy Speaker Irina Gerashchenko said on Monday.
"We have registered a bill on prohibiting the participation of observers from the aggressor country, the Russian Federation, in monitoring the Ukrainian presidential and parliamentary elections. I called on colleagues from the Conciliatory Council of the Verkhovna Rada to support the Ukrainian diplomats’ stance and pass this law that would make Russian observers’ presence in international missions not possible," Gerashchenko wrote on Facebook.
Verkhovna Rada speaker Andrei Parubiy, Presidential Envoy to the Parliament Irina Lutsenko, and head of the Foreign Policy Committee Anna Gopko along with some other lawmakers initiated the bill. The text of the document has not been made public yet.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin earlier said that Kiev would not let Russian nationals monitor Ukraine’s presidential election. He sent a letter on the issue to Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir. The Office responded that it would act in accordance with the established norms and principles enshrined in the OSCE documents and confirmed by the electoral monitoring practice.
Russia earlier said it was ready to send its observers and expected the Ukrainian leadership to allow Russian nationals to monitor the presidential election as members of the OSCE mission.
For its part, Russia’s Central Election Commission reported it had sent to the Russian Foreign Ministry a list of experts who could monitor the Ukrainian presidential election as part of the OSCE mission. Ukraine’s presidential election is scheduled to be held on March 31.