MOSCOW, October 24 (Sputnik) — International observers can objectively assess the November 8 presidential elections in the United States if Washington complies with all Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) commitments, Churov said Monday.
In 1990 the US government committed to inviting International Observers for its national elections, as did all the other 57 Participating States in the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE), which arose out of the Helsinki Negotiations in the early 1970s.
"This year, for the first time in its history, the US has voiced its intention to honor its commitment to the agreement and invited 400 members of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the OSCE to monitor its elections. Each member state of the Office has its national quota on how many observers to send to the elections," Churov said.
However, the OSCE documents require the host country to fulfill not only its commitment to invite the international observers but a number of other certain conditions.
"Among those is a simple and free from discrimination procedure of accreditation of all the observers, free access to all of the election procedures and issuance of all the mandates well in advance to the start of the elections. Free access to all the institutions in charge of the organization and holding of the elections, an opportunity to meet with all political organizations, mass media, civil societies and voters," he said.
"If this whole set of obligations is fulfilled, then the observation mission makes sense and will be able to obtain objective results and objectively assess the campaign and the vote," Churov said.
The host country should also organize the meetings with the representatives of the executive, legislative and judicial powers at the federal and local levels, the candidates, representatives of all political parties, civil society, mass media and any other person and groups chosen by the monitors,
It should also provide free travel opportunities to all the regions of the country prior, during and after the elections, without any imposed restrictions, as well as free access to all the constituencies, election commissions, votes counting centers and results processing centers.
Russia's ambassador-at-large also noted that all the monitoring missions should be provided security as the world, unfortunately, is no longer a safe place thus the US should comply with this requirement as well.
"We get daily reports of various incidents, so we would like for the US to fulfill this condition in relation to international observers. Otherwise it makes no sense to go and formally assist in fulfilling international obligations," Vladimir Churov told RIA Novosti.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Saturday Russia chose to conduct the observations independently of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) mission of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) because Moscow did not fully agree with some of the ODIHR criteria for drafting final reports of such observations.
"Full security has to be provided to all international observer missions, if they are invited, not only the ODIHR," Churov stressed.
On October 21, US Department of State spokesperson John Kirby said that Russia should have joined the international observation mission to monitor the US elections. He also said the State Department could not influence the authorities of Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, who earlier refused to let Russian monitors observe the elections, as these decisions were always made on a state level.
The Russian embassy in Washington said that the Russian diplomats were not only denied access to the elections but also warned of the possibility of criminal charges if they appeared at the polling stations.