Ukrainian FM to facilitate work of OSCE/ODIHR EOM during presidential elections
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is going to facilitate the activities of the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission (EOM) to monitor elections in Ukraine and is also interested in the maximum number of observers to be sent to Ukraine, Deputy Foreign Minister Serhiy Kyslytsia has said.
"I have confirmed the resoluteness of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to continue providing assistance to the OSCE/ODIHR EOM during the presidential elections of 2019. The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine is interested in having the ODIHR send a maximum number of observers to Ukraine. The Foreign Ministry isn't also going to impose any limitations on the exact number of observers as was the case in some other OSCE countries, in particular, the Russian Federation," he wrote on his Facebook page, following his conversation with Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights Ingibjörg Gísladóttir.
At the same time, Kyslytsya said he believes that the ODIHR would take into account the law passed by the parliament of Ukraine, according to which citizens of an aggressor country are not allowed to be involved in election monitoring in Ukraine.
The diplomat said Ukraine's decision not to allow observers from the aggressor country cannot constitute a precedent for other OSCE participating States that are not victims of aggression and occupation.
"Ukraine has always supported the unique mission of the ODIHR, its autonomy and observation methodology. Maintaining the authority of the Office in the eyes of Ukrainian voters and political forces is one of the important conditions for the successful implementation of the ODIHR's mandate," the deputy minister said.
As reported earlier, on February 7, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine passed a law banning Russian nationals and persons suggested by the Russian party to serve as official observers in the presidential, parliamentary, and local elections in Ukraine.
According to the law, a citizen (subject) of a state, which is recognized by the Verkhovna Rada as an aggressor state or an occupier state cannot serve as an official observer from foreign states and international organizations. In addition, the person suggested by an aggressor state or an occupier state cannot serve as an observer.
Earlier, the OSCE/ODIHR sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine an electronic list of long-term observers for the March 31 presidential elections, which included two candidates from Russia—women born in 1990 and 1985.
After the law was passed by the Ukrainian parliament, the OSCE/ODIHR said it was disappointed at the decision of the Ukrainian authorities to ban Russian representatives from the accreditation as observers at the presidential election in Ukraine, including as part of the OSCE/ODIHR EOM.