The United States expressed regret that restrictions on the epidemiological situation will not allow the OSCE to observe the elections to the State Duma, said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
“The United States regrets that the restrictions imposed by the Russian authorities will prevent the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, as well as the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, from independently monitoring the Duma elections in September,” Price said.
He added that Washington respects the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) decision that due to the restrictive measures on COVID-19 in Russia, “credible and independent monitoring” has become impossible.
“Although OSCE observers will not be able to attend, the international community will monitor the process of the Duma elections, both before the elections and on the Election Day, to determine whether the conditions are conducive to holding free and fair elections. Russia cannot escape international attention,” Price concluded.
Russia invited European organizations to monitor the vote on September 17-19. Still, the number of observers against the background of the pandemic was limited to 50 for the OSCE and ten for its Parliamentary Assembly. After that, the organization announced that it would not observe the parliamentary elections in Russia due to demands to reduce the number of its representatives.