Russia vote 'needs investigating' says William Hague

 

Foreign Secretary William Hague called today for allegations of
irregularities in Russia's presidential elections to be "thoroughly
investigated".

But the Foreign Secretary made clear he did not want the issue to get in the way of Britain's relations with Moscow, saying he hoped to work with the Russian government to develop a "stronger and deeper partnership" between the two countries.

International election monitors from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe have criticised Sunday's ballot which returned Vladimir Putin for a further six years in the Kremlin.

The result sparked protests in Moscow where riot police dispersed and detained hundreds of demonstrators attempting to occupy a central square last night.

The OSCE monitors gave a "negative assessment" to the vote count in one-third of the polling stations they visited. They said broadcast media was "clearly biased" in Mr Putin's favour, failing to provide fair coverage of other candidates.

Prime Minister David Cameron pointedly avoided congratulating Mr Putin on his victory when the two leaders spoke by telephone last night. But the two leaders agreed on the need to develop a "stronger relationship" despite "differences and areas of concern".

In a statement released by the Foreign Office in London today, Mr Hague said: "I note the preliminary assessment of the OSCE/ODIHR (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) election observation mission of the Russian presidential elections.

"Overall, while the mission gives a positive assessment of voting on election day, it identifies problems with counting at some polling stations, unequal campaign conditions and limitations on voter choice. These issues should not be overlooked.

"A Russia with greater political freedoms, including the registration of political parties, freedom of assembly and freedom of the media, is in the interests of Russians and of the wider world.

"All allegations of electoral violations should now be thoroughly investigated."

Mr Hague added: "It is in Britain's interests to develop a stronger and deeper partnership with Russia by addressing the obstacles to the relationship so that we can extend our political and trade engagement. We look forward to working with the Russian government to do this."

According to official returns, Mr Putin, president from 2000-08 before serving four years as prime minister, won 63% of the vote, well ahead of second-placed Communist Party candidate Gennady Zyuganov on 17%.

Opposition groups allege massive electoral fraud.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Super BowlAfter Katy Perry madness it's back to The Independent's live coverage of Super Bowl 49!
News
See what Twitter had to say about the first half of the Super Bowl
News
people
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: PMLD Teacher A specialist primary school i...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium - they breathe better air, and eat better food, when they're not making beans on toast for their kids

The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

Dropout generation failed by colleges

£800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

Homeless Veterans appeal

Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
Shazam! Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

Shazam: Story of the $1bn 'what's that song?' app

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch