Russian MFA: ODIHR's refusal to send observers to Azerbaijan came as surprise

Moscow, November 3, AZERTAC.

“ODIHR’s principles are by no means "golded’, and they are treated very freely, whereas there should be clear and transparent rules for monitoring, equal for all the countries to the east and west of Vienna,” said Andrey Kelin, head of the Department of European Cooperation of the Russian Foreign Ministry in an interview to TASS news agency.

According to Kelin, who is also a Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OSCE in Vienna, the refusal of OSCE ODIHR to send observers to the parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan came as a big surprise. “The situation with ODIHR looks very strange. For example, only two experts went to monitor elections in Germany, however about 600 people were expected to monitor elections in Kyrgyzstan.” The Russian diplomat said that the same situation occurred in Belarus and in Azerbaijan, when Baku sought to limit the number of ODIHR observers.

“Similar situation has occurred in the past. There is nothing new,” the diplomat said, adding that there is no need for “troops of observers”. According to Kelin, ODIHR’s refusal to come to Azerbaijan proves a prejudice of this organization.

Farida Abdullayeva

Special Correspondent

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