OREANDA-NEWS. The European Union believes that the elections to the Russian State Duma were held "in an atmosphere of intimidation of independent critics," as well as in the absence of full-fledged international observation, Peter Stano, the spokesman for the Union's foreign policy service, said at a briefing in Brussels.

Back in late August, Vasily Piskarev, head of the Russian State Duma commission to investigate the facts of foreign interference in the internal affairs of Russia, announced the ongoing planned campaign "to discredit the elections in Russia and prepare public opinion abroad for non-recognition of their results."

"Regional and State Duma elections were held in an atmosphere of intimidation of independent critics, in the absence of normal international observation that could be trusted," Stano said.

Russia previously offered to host up to 50 observers from the ODIHR mission. The OSCE stated that observers from the organization, including through the ODIHR, would not follow the voting process in Russia if they disagree with these restrictions. Despite this refusal, international observation at the 2021 elections in Russia was very representative: according to the Public Chamber, more than 380 international observers and experts from 80 countries of the world followed the voting process at the sites of public observation centers, missions worked on the lines of the CIS, PACE, CSTO.

Vice-Speaker of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Konstantin Kosachev on Monday called the position of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), on the one hand, claiming a lack of resources for observing elections in different countries, as "hypocrisy in the highest degree" , who tried to send about 500 people to Russia for observation.

Earlier, the head of the CEC, Ella Pamfilova, also expressed bewilderment that in the context of the OSCE pandemic, "you can not send (observers) to other countries at all, or send 33 people to the United States, although there are 1.5-2 times more voters there." The United States limited international surveillance also in connection with the pandemic, but there was no criticism of this decision from the EU.