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Sweden Regrets Obstacles To Observers In Russia


Sweden regrets obstacles to election observers in Russia

Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt spoke today in Madrid at the Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

"It is deeply regrettable that Russia has set up restrictions for the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to carry out election observation in the coming Russian Duma elections.

This has resulted in the election observer force having to stay at home. This is a setback for the OSCE - as well as for Russia. We can now only hope that the ODIHR will be given the opportunity to observe the upcoming presidential election in Russia next year.

"The fact that the ODIHR has been invited by Georgia's government to send election observers to the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections is welcomed. It has become clear recently that democratic developments in Georgia are rather fragile. A well-functioning election process, supported by the OSCE, and freedom of the media are therefore of critical importance," says Carl Bildt.

ENDS

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