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   Russia Working to Limit Election Observers

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10/25/2007 8:40 am

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New York Times

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News

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Entered 10/25/2007, Updated 10/25/2007

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By C. J. CHIVERS Published: October 25, 2007 MOSCOW, Oct. 24 — Russia has opened a diplomatic campaign to curtail the activities of election observers in the states of the former Soviet Union, proposing to cut the size of the missions sharply and to prohibit the publication of their reports immediately after an election. The proposals, circulated confidentially last month by Russia at the headquarters in Vienna of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, would also forbid observers to make any public statements about a government’s electoral conduct in the days after citizens voted. Taken together, the proposals would severely undermine the activities of the organization’s election-monitoring arm before two important elections in Russia: the parliamentary election planned for Dec. 2 and presidential elections next spring. They are also the latest Kremlin effort to renegotiate standards for governing and international cooperation that it accepted after the Soviet Union’s collapse, and seem certain to lead to another impasse with the West.


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