Russia will not send observers to join the mission of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to monitor the presidential elections of Ukraine on March 31, Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Friday, February 8.
According to the Russian side, this decision is due to “security reasons”.
Earlier, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry refused to accredit “long-term observers” from Russia. Sergei Kislitsa, Deputy Foreign Ministry of Ukraine, said that the ODIHR should take into account “the law passed by the Verkhovna Rada, which bans the participation of citizens of the aggressor state in the monitoring of elections”. The term ‘aggressor country’ stands for the Russian Federation in Ukrainian legislation.
According to Kislitsa, Kyiv will consider the presence of a total of about 700 short-term observers in the country.
On Wednesday, February 6, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE submitted a list of 92 candidates from the observation mission to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine for approval. As reported by Interfax, the list included the names of two citizens of Russia.
Back in January 2019, Pavlo Klimkin, Head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, officially informed the ODIHR that the Foreign Ministry would not allow Russian observers to monitor the presidential elections in Ukraine.