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    INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS RECORD NO VIOLATIONS IN RUSSIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

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    MOSCOW, March 15, 2004.(RIA Novosti) - International observers noted the absence of any serious violations in the voting process during the Russian presidential elections, the head of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, told journalists Monday.

    According to him, "in effect, all of the observers noted the high level of organization of the voting procedure and the absence of any serious violations on the day of the elections."

    On a State Duma initiative, the international observes, including the head of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) group, Rudolph Bindig, were offered assistance in work in any location in Russia, including Chechnya. Regrettably, no one expressed a desire to visit Chechnya, the committee chair said.

    Judging by the foreign comments, despite the high appraisal of the organization of the past elections, they may criticize Russia again because its election practice conflicts with some Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Council of Europe standards, Mr. Kosachev said.

    "We will only welcome constructive recommendations and allow any distortions in the organization of the election process to be prevented at the legislative level. The most important things is that a political bias and double standards would not be present in it," the head of the State Duma committee stated.

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