The Association of Central and East European Election Officials opened its international conference in the building of the Russian Central Election Committee, CEC, in Moscow on Thursday.
According to CEC chairman Alexander Veshnyakov, 34 states, 18 out of which are the Association's members, and others include Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Scandinavian countries and some of the CIS countries, are taking part in the conference. The forum also involves representatives from the Council of Europe, the OSCE and other international organizations.
The main topic of the conference is "International Election Standards in the Legislation and Practice of European Countries", Veshnyakov said. The forum will discuss a draft European convention on the standards of free democratic elections, and election rights and freedoms, which will then be submitted to the Council of Europe.
At the seminars, organized within the framework of the conference, election officials from different countries will exchange opinions on such topics as "election procedures and international observers", and "the role of the state and civil society structures in developing the institution of free elections".
The forum will hold an exhibition of Russian election equipment, such as facilities for quick processing of ballot papers that allow real-time tracking of the results of a vote.
The three-day conference is expected to admit new members to the Association, including some CIS countries.
Europe has recognised the need for negotiations with Russia to discuss the security system on the continent. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is going to Macedonia for meetings with colleagues within the OSCE