Russia may be headed for another showdown with the US and the European Union over its proposals to severely limit the authority of international election monitors. The Kremlin wants to cut the number of observers and ban their reports from publication until after elections. The move comes just months before the country’s parliamentary and presidential contests, the New York Times reports.
One diplomat accused Moscow of trying to “deconstruct” reforms. An election monitor called the latest move “part of an overall strategy to emasculate” monitoring efforts. But Russia’s foreign minister said the practice is “becoming an instrument of political manipulation and a destabilizing factor.” Russia has already delayed inviting international monitors to observe elections for its lower house of parliament.