Russia wants to ban presence of international observers in its elections
According to Deputy Chairman of the Temporary Commission of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, Andrei Klimov, monitoring missions from countries that do not permit Russian observers in their elections may be banned from attending the 2018 Russian presidential election, reports the Izvestia newspaper.
According to the publication's source, the Russian senators plan to develop appropriate amendments to the current legislation before the start of the election campaign.
The publication notes that Valentina Matvienko, the Speaker of the Federation Council, made a similar proposal a while ago. She noted that during the presidential elections it is necessary "to conduct effective counteraction to targeted foreign interference in the electoral process".
The Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Federation Council, Konstantin Kosachev, said that "if it turns out" that the Central Election Commission "has enough power", then it will be possible "simply not to invite those countries that do not show mirror reciprocity towards Russian observers."
The publication does not say exactly which countries are being discussed. The newspaper's source at the Federal Council commission said that the United States, Ukraine, Britain, Georgia, Estonia, Lithuania and France did not invite Russian observers to their elections.
At the same time, Ella Pamfilova, the Chairman of the Central Election Commission, told the newspaper that she "does not know a single case when Russian observers were not allowed".