( OSCE ) - The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has informed the Russian authorities that the Office will be unable to act upon their invitation to observe the 2 December elections to the Russian State Duma.
In a letter to the Russian Central Election Commission, ODIHR Director Ambassador Christian Strohal regretted this conclusion, but said that due to delays and restrictions, ODIHR would be unable to deliver its mandate.
In spite of the delayed receipt of an invitation from the Russian authorities to observe and unprecedented restrictions introduced in the invitation, the ODIHR set out to deliver its mandate conscientiously and in good faith by attempting to deploy an observation mission within the many constraints placed upon the institution.
The ODIHR requested to deploy 20 experts on 7 November and 50 further observers on 15 November. Despite repeated attempts to attain entry visa into the Russian Federation for ODIHR experts and observers, entry visas have continuously been denied.
The ODIHR therefore concludes that the authorities of the Russian Federation remain unwilling to receive ODIHR observers in a timely and co-operative manner and co-operate fully with them. It is with regret that the ODIHR recognizes that it will be unable to deliver its mandate under these circumstances.