Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russian Rep Pitches Plan at OSCE

Russia's representative at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on Friday reportedly defended proposals that would restrict the activities of international election monitors, citing "serious concerns" about their objectivity.

The United States on Thursday criticized the proposals, which Russia submitted last month to the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE branch charged with observing elections, saying they would impede monitors' job.

But Alexei Borodavkin, Russia's OSCE envoy, said Russia and other members backing the document -- Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan -- "have serious concerns about how ... the ODIHR monitors elections," Interfax reported.

"Instead of giving technical assessments on how elections were held, ODIHR observers often issue political assessments that adversely affect the internal political stability in the countries where the monitoring is done," he said.

He said Russia and its allies were dissatisfied with the election-observing tendency to focus on countries "east of Vienna," asserting that there were plenty of election violations further west. Vienna is the headquarters of the OSCE.

Borodavkin also said the selection process for observers was flawed and done "behind closed doors."

"By submitting our document, we want to rectify this situation," Borodavkin said.