The United States regrets that restrictions imposed by Russian authorities will prevent the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly from independently observing the Duma elections in September.   We respect ODIHR’s professional determination that “the decision by the Russian authorities to introduce limitations to the election observation made credible independent observation impossible.”  We fully support ODIHR and the Parliamentary Assembly in their principled position that they cannot effectively observe the elections under such restrictive circumstances.

Even though OSCE election observers cannot be present, the international community will be watching the Duma elections process – in the run-up to the elections as well as on Election Day – to determine whether the conditions are conducive to the holding of free and fair elections.  Russia will not escape the international spotlight.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future