Lithuania defends banning Russian and Belarusian observers from monitoring its presidential election | EUROtoday

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Lithuania defended Wednesday the choice to not permit Russian and Belarusian observers to watch its upcoming presidential election, accusing each international locations of spearheading campaigns that “pose a threat to our national security.”

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe — which includes Lithuania, Russia and Belarus— usually sends multi-national observer teams to watch its 57 member states’ elections.

The election on Sunday comes at a time when Russia is making gains on the battlefield in Ukraine, where the war has entered its third year, fueling fears across all of Europe and especially in the strategically important Baltic region about Moscow’s intentions.

Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry in a statement Wednesday said the country had invited OSCE observers to monitor the election “apart from the aggressor Russia and its supporter Belarus” and accused them of being a menace to the Baltic nation’s political and electoral processes.

It additionally known as on the OSCE to rethink persevering with the membership of “countries that most flagrantly violate international law, human rights, and carry out aggression against Ukraine”.

Last month, the OSCE introduced it would not ship any observers following Lithuania’s choice. It mentioned in a press release that signaling nationalities out of the invite was towards the foundations of equal therapy of all member states and “in breach of the commitments made by all participating States of the OSCE.”

However, the OSCE expressed “full confidence” in Lithuania’s electoral course of, whereas pointing to the “worth of an impartial exterior evaluation.”

In the elections, the favored incumbent, Gitanas Nausėda, is favored to win one other five-year time period, competing towards seven different candidates. If none wins the minimal 50% of votes, a runoff will probably be held on May 26.

Lithuania’s president oversees overseas and safety coverage and is the supreme commander of the armed forces.

Among the two,000 observers anticipated to watch the balloting, there are 20 worldwide observers from Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, in addition to representatives of the United States Election Assistance Fund and the International Fund for Electoral Systems (IFES) workplace in Ukraine.


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