Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–March 5, 2012.
The United States congratulates the Russian people on the completion of the Presidential elections, and looks forward to working with the President-elect after the results are certified and he is sworn in.
The United States endorses the preliminary report of the observer mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), and welcomes the many other assessments of the Russian presidential election by Russian election monitors. We note the statement by the head of delegation for PACE that the election had a clear winner with an absolute majority. We also note, however, the OSCE’s concerns about the conditions under which the campaign was conducted, the partisan use of government resources, and procedural irregularities on election day, among other issues.
We urge the Russian Government to conduct an independent, credible investigation of all reported electoral violations. As underscored in the OSCE report, we also note the new steps that the Central Election Commission took to increase transparency of the voting process since the parliamentary elections last December. We urge Russian authorities to build on these steps to ensure that the procedures for future elections will be more transparent.
We are encouraged to see so many Russian citizens voting, monitoring voting in their local precincts, exercising their constitutional right to free assembly, and expressing their views peacefully about the political and electoral processes. The number of Russian election observers who monitored this vote is unprecedented and a sign that Russian society seeks to participate in the improvement of Russia’s democratic institutions. We also recognize the government’s efforts to reform the political system, including the reintroduction of direct elections for governors, the simplification of party registration procedures, and the reduction in the numbers of signatures needed to register presidential candidates.