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Russia denounces OSCE decision to boycott vote

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Russia denounces OSCE decision to boycott vote

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Russia has denounced a decision by Europe’s main election watchdog not to send observers to presidential election in March as “unacceptable”.

The OSCE cancelled plans to monitor the vote next month citing what it, too, called unacceptable restrictions imposed by Moscow.

The decision follows a row with Moscow over the number of observers allowed in and the date they could begin their work.

Russian foreign minister Serguei Lavrov said no self-respecting nation would bow to ultimatums, adding that the move by the OSCE proved that the organisation needed reform.

The dispute echoes a row last year when the OSCE’s election body pulled out of Russia’s parliamentary election saying Moscow had not given it enough time to do its job.

Russia says it believes the OSCE’s intention from the outset was to boycott the vote.