EU Gives Mixed Election Assessment

BRUSSELS -- The European Union sent President-elect Dmitry Medvedev barbed congratulations on his election, saying the poll had been smoothly carried out but had not been truly competitive.

The Slovenian EU presidency said Sunday's election had been calm and peaceful but expressed regret that Europe's main election watchdog had not been able to monitor the poll. The observers skipped the vote because of what they called unacceptable restrictions by Moscow.

"The EU also regrets that the electoral process did not allow for truly competitive elections," said a statement issued Tuesday.

NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer also congratulated Medvedev. "NATO looks forward to working with the new president ... to strengthen our practical cooperation and to step up our dialogue," he said.