LUGANSK, August 18. /TASS/. Observers from any country are free to arrive for a referendum on the accession of the Lugansk People’s Republic to Russia, the republic’s Foreign Minister Vladislav Deinego told TASS in an interview.
"Observers from any country are invited, the question is whether these countries will be ready to send their official monitors here or whether some democratic institutions from these countries will be sending their observers," he said.
The diplomat recalled that the LPR had invited foreign observers to its elections before, including those from the OSCE Bureau for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, who "abstained without providing any reasons." "However, a range of countries, even Norway, was represented," he said, describing the representation at previous elections in the republic as broad.
"Enabling the international community to send their observers here so that they can make sure that the process is democratic and legitimate will certainly be key during the referendum," the LPR official emphasized.
Deinego redirected the question about the number of observers to monitor the referendum to the central election commission.
In early July, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin that the LPR had been liberated. LPR leader Leonid Pasechnik said that a referendum on joining the Russian Federation could be held in the republic. On July 15, the LPR decided to set up a public headquarters for the referendum. However, the republic’s head stressed that the plebiscite could be held only after the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) had been liberated.