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EU criticizes shortcomings in Russian election
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union shares the concerns of international monitors over "shortcomings" in Russia's presidential election and called on Moscow to address them, an EU spokeswoman said on Monday.
The EU broadly agrees with reports by the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) that highlighted problems with Sunday's election, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.
"They have identified certain shortcomings both in the preparations and the conduct of these elections," Maja Kocijancic told a regular news briefing.
"Overall, we share their assessment ... We are encouraging Russia to address these shortcomings."
The OSCE report said there had been abuse of government resources and no real competition in the election, after which official results showed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin won about 64 percent of the vote.
The EU would issue a more detailed statement later on Monday, Kocijancic said.
(Reporting By Sebastian Moffett; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
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