RUSSIA DISAPPOINTED WITH SESSION OF OSCE FOREIGN MINISTERS

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SOFIA, December 7 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is disappointed with the results of the Sofia session of the council of foreign ministers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

"In connection with thematic and geographic defects and double standards in the OSCE work the Russian side raises the question of the importance of the organization and its ability to adequately respond to modern threats and meet real demands and interests of the member-states," said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Chizhov.

"The methods of artificial correlations and unworthy political bargaining used by a number of delegations frustrated the council's approval of such objective initiatives as a seminar on military doctrines and an energy conference," Mr. Chizhov noted.

"This will reinforce the imbalance between the three key trends of the OSCE activity (military-technical, economic and humanitarian)," Mr. Chizhov said.

According to him, the sides failed to find consensus on the improvement of the electoral practice. However, Russia does not consider this issue closed and hopes that in 2005 the OSCE "will thoroughly analyze the electoral legislation in its member-states in order to elaborate common standards, criteria and methods of objective observation at elections and impartial assessment of their results".

The diplomat regretted that the council of OSCE foreign ministers ignored the CIS initiatives to improve the situation within the organization mentioned in the Moscow statement of July 3, 2004 and the address to OSCE partners adopted in Astana on September 15, 2004.

In Russia's opinion, overall reform of the OSCE structures, specialized institutions and financing system should be the key trends of the organization's work in 2005, Vladimir Chizhov said.

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