OREANDA-NEWS. Russia will not send observers to the Ukrainian presidential elections, Russian Foreign Ministry says after Ukraine’s rejection of accrediting Russian OSCE observers.

"Recently it became known that the CEC of Ukraine has made an unlawful decision - it refused OSCE’s ODIHR accreditation of 24 Russian citizens to monitor the elections of the president in the country. <...> For "justification" of such actions, the Verkhovna Rada [Ukrainian unicameral parliament. - Oreanda-News] hastily adopted new amendments to laws in February, when the ODIHR mission has already been at the deployment stage in Ukraine,” the commentary of the Foreign Ministry says.

The Foreign Ministry also added that the ODIHR’s assessment of the Ukrainian situation calls the legitimacy of the election into question.

In the report of ODIHR there are “complaints about the election campaign. These included failure to follow recommendations from the previous election, abuse of public funds, bribing voters, using administrative resources, criminal prosecution of candidates, engagement of the CEC and the courts, problems with voters’ calculations, inconsistencies in the work of the territorial election committees and more,” the office said.

As the Foreign Ministry stressed, Russia does not want to put its observers in jeopardy of persecution. Instead, Moscow will be closely monitoring the election campaign, in cooperation with the ODIHR and other structures.

“Taking into account what we can already see in Ukraine today, Kiev obviously has got something to conceal from both the citizens and the international community,” the Russian ministry noted.

Moscow hopes that after the elections the ODIHR “will be able to provide the international community with an objective, trustworthy positive and fair picture, without looking back at political predilections and not fearing to cause a negative reaction of Ukrainian authorities patronized by the West.”

Earlier, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law to ban Russian representatives from participating in March 31 elections in Ukraine as observers. It came into force on February 28th this year. ODIHR stated that action was unprecedented and contrary to the obligations of all OSCE states. The Kremlin considers the restrictions unacceptable, saying that such measures may reduce the level of legitimacy of the elections themselves.

OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) is the largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization in the world. ODIHR (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) is its principal institution.