Updated 4:23 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russian observers will take part in the OSCE mission to monitor legislative elections in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Thursday.
“We, naturally, will monitor the early parliamentary elections in Ukraine scheduled for Sunday. We hope that these elections will be held in line with all democratic principles and norms and the situation in Ukraine will start to gradually stabilize,” the spokesman said at a press briefing in Moscow.
“Russian observers will also take part in a broad mission, organized by the OSCE through its institution – the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR),” Lukashevich said.
Earlier this week, State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin also noted that Russian lawmakers plan to monitor parliamentary elections in Ukraine as part of the OSCE observation mission.
On August 27, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed an executive order dissolving the country's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada. An early parliamentary election in Ukraine is scheduled for October 26. Ukrainians will vote for the parliament's 438 members – 50 percent from party lists and 50 percent from constituencies. The election threshold is set at 5 percent.
On September 19, following an invitation from the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the OSCE ODIHR formally opened an election observation mission for the early parliamentary elections in Ukraine.
Apart from the OSCE, the election will be monitored by the observers from the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations, or ENEMO, the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, or GUAM, and the European Parliament. Denmark, Poland, France, Bulgaria, Spain, Slovakia, Canada, Japan and the United States will also be sending observation representatives to Ukraine.