Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 11
Russia supports an audit of the work of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Tass quoted Alexei Meshkov, Russian deputy foreign minister, as saying at a press conference Nov. 11.
“In the difficult situation where the world and Europe is, it is necessary to responsibly account for money,” he said.
“Due to the endless demands to increase spending on those or other bureaucratic institutions, this [the auditing] is a quite legitimate question. It is needed to determine the effectiveness of spending of funds,” added Meshkov.
Meshkov went on to criticize a declaration claiming the independence of the OSCE’s ODIHR.
“It [ODIHR] is an institution of the OSCE. Who said that 270 observers should be sent to monitor an election to one country, for example, to Azerbaijan, while sending only two of them to Germany? Who orders certain reports that ODIHR issues under its label, if they aren’t ordered by the OSCE Permanent Council?” asked Meshkov.
“OSCE governing bodies need to control activities, including those of ODIHR,” he noted. “So, the question about auditing ODIHR is logical.”
“We’d like to know how and on what projects the money is spent, where voluntary contributions come from and to what orders they are sent,” noted Meshkov.
“A demand for an audit is quite fair,” he added.
Earlier, the OSCE press office issued a statement by ODIHR Director Michael Link stating that no mission would be sent to observe Azerbaijan’s Nov. 1 parliamentary election.
Following the statement, the OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, addressing a press conference in Moscow, expressed regret that it was not possible to reach an agreement to send an ODIHR observer mission to Azerbaijan.
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