Parubiy signs law banning Russians from being elections observers in Ukraine, sends it to president for signing
A law banning Russian nationals and persons suggested by the Russian side to serve as official observers at the presidential, parliamentary and local elections in Ukraine has been signed by Ukrainian Parliament Speaker Andriy Parubiy and then sent for signature to the President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine.
As earlier reported, on February 4, bill No. 9524 "On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Concerning the Observation of the Electoral Process in Ukraine" was registered in the Ukrainian parliament. According to the text of the bill, a citizen (subject) of a state that is recognized by the Verkhovna Rada an aggressor state or an occupier state cannot serve as an official observer from foreign states, international organizations during the presidential elections, parliamentary or local elections in Ukraine.
The explanatory note says that the bill was developed "in order to minimize the risks and threats of interference of the Russian Federation in the conduct of elections in Ukraine."
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy, First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Iryna Gerashchenko, the president's representative in the Parliament Iryna Lutsenko, leader of the Petro Poroshenko Bloc faction Artur Herasymov, and First Deputy Chairman of the People's Front faction Andriy Teteruk are among those who authored the document.
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.
On February 7, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker said he is not against Russian observers being allowed to monitor Ukrainian elections.
"Ukraine needs ODIHR monitors to prove it adheres to democratic standards. Otherwise allows people to question election," Volker said in a tweet on Twitter on Thursday.
"OK if Russian monitors are part, but under ODIHR authority. No games," he said.
The U.S. special representative for Ukraine said Ukraine "needs to have confidence in its own democratic institutions."