17 Jan 2018 15:09

Russian Foreign Ministry suggests barring U.S. diplomats from monitoring presidential election

MOSCOW. Jan 17 (Interfax) - A proposal to deprive United States diplomats of the right to monitor Russia's upcoming presidential election has been forwarded to the Russian Central Elections Commission (CEC), a source at the Foreign Ministry told Interfax.

"The Russian Foreign Ministry assumes that the U.S. side did not allow [Russian] diplomats who planned to visit some polling stations to [do so] during its presidential election. For our part, we expressed to the CEC a desire to apply a mirrored response," the source said on Wednesday.

"We expect it to be approved," the source said.

As Russian diplomats were not allowed to monitor the U.S. election, Moscow believes that representatives of the U.S. embassy and general consulates should not be invited as monitors, the source said. "It's a normal move, which is connected to the U.S.' position in the first place," the source said.

The Foreign Ministry believes that "there are reasons to take the same approach to possible requests from the U.S. to send monitors to the upcoming election," the source said.

During the U.S. election, "our requests were sharply denied, and it was suggested that we sign up with international structures as monitors," the source said.

Some U.S. states have legislative restrictions that prohibit monitoring, the source said.

Earlier, spokesperson of the U.S. embassy to Russia Maria Olson told Interfax that "the United States participates in election monitoring through international organizations, namely the OSCE."