( dpa ) - The European Union hopes Russian authorities wille be "flexible enough" to allow the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe's ODIHR election watchdog to launch its monitoring mission for the upcoming presidential election, a senior EU official said on Thursday.
"We are worried that the invitation to ODIHR was delayed and included a number of significant restrictions," EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said after speaking to the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna.
The ODIHR - Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights - said Wednesday that it may be forced to pull out of monitoring the March 2 presidential elections, as it could not fulfil its mandate of long-term observation.
Russia was only willing to let monitors in three days ahead of the elections, ODIHR said.
Speaking to reporters, Ferrero-Waldner urged Moscow to to improve its election monitoring framework.