The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) member states should introduce uniform regulations for election monitoring, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.
“The Russian Federation… stands for introducing universally accepted and understandable rules for election observation,” Lavrov said in an interview with Russian and Belarusian media marking the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two states.
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, which is in charge of monitoring elections in member states, “does not have clear rules on which elections observation would rely on and which would be based on uniform criteria rather than on double standards as it happens now,” Lavrov said.
While there is a broad agreement between the OSCE governments that observers should be invited to monitor elections in member states, particular details concerning the number of monitors to be invited as well as the monitoring process itself are yet to be agreed upon, the minister said.
“Unfortunately,” he added, “our western partners categorically refuse to discuss such regulations.”
Moreover, he said, “many OSCE countries, first of all western states, have ignored their obligation to incorporate the provision obliging them to invite international observers to monitor elections into their national legislation. We have done this and expect the same from our partners.”
Lavrov said Russia was going to advocate the proposal during the upcoming OSCE Parliamentary Assembly summer session, to be hosted by Monaco on July 5-9, as well as during an OSCE ministerial meeting in December.