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State Department: Huge irregularities in Putin’s election

Published: April 20, 2013 | 7:43 pm
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(CNA)-The State Department issued a report Friday that detailed widespread accusations of fraud and abuse in the March 2012 election that brought Vladimir Putin back into the Russian presidency, reports Foreign Policy.

U.S.-Russian relations have been in a tailspin since Putin’s return as head of state in Moscow. The United States and Russia have been at odds over a U.S. list of Russian human rights violators, the Russian decision to ban U.S. adoptions of Russian children, Russian persecution of international NGOs, the expulsion from Russia of USAID, and Russia’s unilateral withdrawal from the Nunn-Lugar cooperative threat reduction program.

In the run-up to Putin’s election, huge protests swept Moscow and Putin blamed then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for “inciting” the crowds.

On Friday, the State Department released its annual list of human rights reports and the section on Russia lays out extensive reporting on Putin’s own election and the irregularities that surrounded it.

“Domestic and international observers described the presidential campaign as skewed in favor of the ruling party’s candidate, Vladimir Putin… Procedural irregularities marred voting, with reports of vote fraud, administrative measures disadvantaging the opposition, and pressure on election monitoring groups,” the report stated. “The law provides citizens with the right to change their government peacefully in regularly scheduled national and regional elections. However, citizens could not fully exercise this right as the government limited the ability of opposition parties to organize, register candidates for public office, access the media, or conduct political campaigns.”

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