The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will not send any observers to the Russian parliamentary elections in September and justifies this with restrictions by the Russian authorities.
"We very much regret that our observation of the upcoming elections in Russia will not be possible," said the Director of the OSCE Human Rights Office ODIHR, Matteo Mecacci, in a statement on Wednesday.
But Russia wanted "without any clear pandemic-related restrictions" to keep the number of international election observers so small that an effective observation mission is not possible.
It is regrettable that the OSCE is now unable to offer Russian voters a transparent assessment of their vote, the communication said.
The head of the Foreign Duma Committee, Leonid Sluzki, criticized the OSCE's rejection as a political decision.
Russia offered the OSCE the entry of a total of 60 election observers, Sluzki emphasized.
Russian opposition officials, on the other hand, repeatedly warn of fraud and falsification in the vote on September 19.