Angela Merkel criticises Russian elections
BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticised the organisation of Russian elections in an interview with German radio broadcast Sunday, citing the limited numbers of election observers who will be present.
Merkel said she had noticed how difficult it had been for civil rights activists to be heard in Russia. “I also regret that OSCE observers will not be able to take part in the elections there,” Merkel told Deutchlandfunk radio.
The Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Europe’s main elections watchdog called off its observer mission for the election, citing a lack of cooperation, a charged that Moscow dismissed.
“We surely have a responsibility to again argue at length” to call for Russia’s approval for free parties and for the respect of human rights, Merkel added. She hoped that Russia would choose to move towards being more open to different opinions.
Merkel acknowledged that under Vladimir Putin’s presidency Russians had more economic and material stability - citing salary increases and paid pensions - and that Russia played a more active role international.
“We depend on each other, but this does not mean we should not criticise on certain subjects that we view differently from the Russian president,” she said. afp