Russia Accuses European Body of Politicizing Observers' Visas Issue
Moscow, 13 November: The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights [ODIHR] is trying to add political overtones to the issue of inviting foreign observers to the State Duma elections, a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry press and information department has said. The statement was made in answer to a question from the media about alleged problems with Russian visas for ODIHR observers.
"Foreign observers at this election will have to be accredited with the agency that has invited them (in the case of ODIHR, with the Russian Central Electoral Commission [CEC]), the document reads.
"However, ODIHR observers' requests for accreditation only started coming to CEC recently. Presumably, ODIHR officials did not take pains to provide the observers with relevant information and materials in due time," the document says.
The State Duma election will be held on 2 December.