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Russia to Allow OSCE Election Monitors

Russia's Ambassador to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe says that Russia will accept the presence of OSCE election monitors during Russia's presidential elections scheduled for March. The Ambassador spoke to YLE in Vienna. The director of the OSCE's election monitoring unit told YLE that if an invitation comes in January, there will be enough time to organise the operation. It would be a great victory for Finland, which took on the one-year Chairmanship of the OSCE on January 1, if the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) could monitor the Russian Presidential elections. It did not succeed in sending monitors to the recent elections for the Duma. Finnish Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva gave some cautiously positive comments on Russia's apparent decision to send the invitations in time. "If this happens will be good news for the international community. I would consider it a great bonus if we could normalise election monitoring within the OSCE. It would be a step forward in any case," Kanerva said to YLE.

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