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OSCE will decide on Russian polls after receiving invitation

MOSCOW, January 25 (RIA Novosti) - The OSCE's election monitoring arm will make a decision whether to send observers to Russia's presidential polls on March 2 after receiving an invitation from Moscow, a spokesman said on Friday.

The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) boycotted Russia's parliamentary polls on December 2 citing visa delays and "unprecedented restrictions." Moscow dismissed the charges, accusing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe of ineffectiveness and bias.

"We will make a decision after receiving the invitation," Curtis Budden said adding the bureau will make a visa application and see if it receives them.

Russia's Central Election Commission said on Thursday around 400 international observers will be invited to monitor the Russian elections, adding "the procedure for inviting international observers will not differ from that used for the elections to the State Duma."

The election authorities said invitations will be sent out after January 28, when the registration of presidential candidates is completed.

The OSCE called the December 2 parliamentary elections, which saw a landslide victory for the Kremlin-backed United Russia party, "not fair."

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