23:59 GMT +323 March 2018
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    MOSCOW, March 12. (RIA Novosti) - Observers from the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) discussed preparations for the Russian presidential elections with State Duma deputies.

    PACE representatives, lead by Rudolf Bindig, a member of the Buntestag, met with the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF) Duma factions on Friday.

    Oleg Malyshkin, the LDPR presidential candidate, told the PACE observers that he was satisfied with the presidential campaign and the way it was covered by the press. "It is all right. We have been provided with everything necessary and all candidates had equal rights," Mr. Malyshkin said.

    Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the LDPR leader and a State Duma deputy speaker, said he was unsatisfied with the way debates between presidential candidates were covered by the state television channels. According to Mr. Zhirinovsky, the television channels scheduled the debates at inconvenient times, 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

    In response to a question from David Atkinson, a British MP, Mr. Malyshkin said that he would work toward greater state involvement in the foreign economic activities if he were elected president.

    He also argued for a one-chamber parliament consisting of 300 deputies instead of the two-chamber parliament that exists now.

    During his meeting with the PACE observers, Gennady Zyuganov, the KPRF leader, claimed that election campaign of their presidential candidate, Nikolai Kharitonov, had not been fully covered by the press.

    Tonight the PACE delegation will visit the election headquarters of another presidential candidate, Sergei Glazyev.

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