18 Mar 2018 15:29

OSCE/ODIHR mission monitoring Russian election includes reps of 44 countries, including U.S.

MOSCOW. March 18 (Interfax) - Representatives of 44 countries, among them the United States, have been included in the observation mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) working at Russia's March 18 presidential election, mission head Jan Petersen told Interfax.

In all, the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission includes representatives of 44 out of the organization's 56 member countries, Petersen said, describing this number as quite high.

There are U.S. citizens among the OSCE/ODIHR observers, he said. Petersen added he cannot give the exact number of U.S. citizens within this observation mission, but there are quite a lot of them.

Step to include U.S. citizens in this observation mission did not encounter any problems, he said, describing the process of their accreditation as smooth.

Peterson said that all comments on the results of the mission's work would be presented on Monday.

Peterson later told reporters that mission representatives are working in all of Russia's regions, and this number of observers is sufficient to receive statistical data in order to impartially assess the voting process.

When asked by journalists whether OSCE/ODIHR monitors would work in Crimea, Peterson gave a negative answer, saying that OSCE member states do not have a consensus as to which country Crimea belongs to.

Therefore, the OSCE/ODIHR mission cannot monitor the elections in Crimea, he said.