"In Crimea we were invited to monitor the referendum, but not in a proper manner," Zannier said.
Zanier explained that the OSCE was invited not by the Ukrainian authorities, and not to monitor the campaign, which, he noted, is the job OSCE monitors always do.
“So, we did not do it," Zannier said.
Crimea reunited with the Russian Federation following the March referendum in which over 96 percent of Crimean voters backed a move to leave Ukraine and rejoin Russia.
The OSCE Secretary General also noted that sending monitors would have risked legitimizing a process about which the Organization had "serious doubts in terms of both legitimacy and organizational aspects."