10:33 11.03.2014

OSCE observers weren't officially invited to Crimean referendum - Crimean authorities

The administration of Crimea has not sent an official invitation to the OSCE to monitor the referendum in Crimea, Rustam Temirgaliyev, deputy prime minister of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, told Interfax.

"We are really ready to accept monitors from the OSCE, but not as military advisers, let alone the NATO countries, but real monitors. A verbal invitation was indeed made by Prime Minister Sergei Aksionov, but no official invitation was sent," he said.

The administration of Crimea has invited representatives of the Russian Central Elections Commission and monitors from the CIS countries, he said.

"We are open to various international organizations, but only if they are ready to send monitors, not saboteurs, military experts and advisers. We don't need the help of such 'specialists'," he said.

Some media earlier reported, citing a source in the government of Crimea, that the administration of Crimea had sent an official invitation to the OSCE mission to send monitors to the Crimean referendum.

The Crimea's referendum will be held on March 16. Voters will answer two questions: "Do you favor the Crimea's re-unification with Russia as Russia's constituent entity?" "Do you favor restoration of the application of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of the Crimea and the Crimea's status as part of Ukraine?"

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