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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Calls Vote 'Missed Opportunity'

WASHINGTON -- The United States on Monday criticized the elections in Chechnya as a "missed opportunity" to ensure that balloting in the region was fair and credible.

"The presidential election that took place yesterday and the political process that led up to it fell short of the potential for producing a positive, democratic outcome," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.

He said the United States doubts that the election meets international standards. "We're disappointed by this missed opportunity," he said.

U.S. President George W. Bush raised concerns about the elections when he met with President Vladimir Putin at Camp David late last month, Boucher said. Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on Monday, but Boucher said he was not certain that they discussed the election.