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Russia Cuts Back on Budget for OSCE

RFE/RL is reporting that Russia is cutting back on its contributions to the OSCE budget:

Russia’s decision to reduce its payments, in a sense, fits into the ongoing debate over the OSCE’s budget for 2008, which has yet to be adopted due to a lack of consensus among the 56 participating states. Individual countries are also in separate negotiations over the size of their contribution to this year’s budget. But the Russian Foreign Ministry’s latest note, in which it accuses the OSCE of bias toward certain member states, leaves little doubt about the issue’s political undertones. “This is connected chiefly with the OSCE’s election-monitoring activities, both in Russia and other former Soviet countries,” says Yevgeny Volk, a Russian political analyst. “By reducing its contribution, I think Russia is seeking to voice its opposition to the OSCE’s activities and to exert pressure on the organization.”