The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights has proposed to include two Russian citizens in the list of observers for Ukraine’s presidential elections on 31 March 2019, Ukrinform reports, citing a diplomatic source.
“The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights has included two Russian citizens in its list of the Mission’s long-term observers to observe the elections, despite the fact that, in the invitation to participate in observation, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry asked it not to accept observer registration applications from the aggressor and occupier-state,” the source said.
According to the source, nowhere in the OSCE’s commitments does it state that representatives of all the organization’s member-states must be invited to participate in election observation missions.
“Paragraph 8 of the OSCE’s Copenhagen document stipulates that inviting observers from the organization’s member-states takes place to the extent that it is permitted by legislation. Because Ukraine’s legislation recognizes Russia as an aggressor-state and occupier, it is Ukraine’s completely logical and legal position to refuse to register Russian citizens as observers,” the source observed.
The OSCE has suggested more than 80 people as long-term observers. Another 750 short-term observers will also travel to Ukraine to observe election day.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has said on numerous occasions that it will not register official observers from Russia for the country’s presidential elections. Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said that having Russian observers at the elections in Ukraine is wrong from a political, legal and moral perspective.
On 4 February, Ukraine’s parliament passed a bill prohibiting Russian observers during the elections.