Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs:
“The ban of the Verkhovna Rada of citizens of the Russian Federation to observe elections in Ukraine, including as part of the OSCE ODIHR mission, is a complete disregard of Kiev’s international obligations. This was even indicated by its Western curators in the person of the special representative of the US State Department for Ukraine Kurt Volcker. However, this did not stop Ukrainian deputies in making an inherently illegal decision.
All of this suggests that the current Ukrainian president is in agony, he is cornered by the West itself, who always spat on Ukraine and the lives of its citizens. It was important only to weaken Russia’s position in the region by amputation of relations between the fraternal peoples, in which Poroshenko did well and under the auspices of his overseas tutors. And now his card turned out to be, by and large, a bit, and the prospects for the elections leave much to be desired.
In any case, even if part of international observers (representatives of Russia are part of the OSCE / ODIHR mission) are not allowed, the openness and the democratic nature of the electoral process in Ukraine are questioned. And the delegation of the Russian Federation intends to raise this issue at the next session of the OSCE PA, which will be held in Vienna in late February. We will wait for the reaction with interest.”