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Obama Raises Russia Vote Flaws

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama met in November at an Asia-Pacific summit in Honolulu.
The White House says U.S. President Barack Obama has raised questions about Russia's disputed elections in a telephone call with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

Obama discussed reports of "flaws in the way the elections were conducted, and welcomed President Medvedev's commitment to investigate these allegations," the White House said in a statement released after the phone call between Obama and Medvedev on December 16.

The U.S. statement added that Obama also noted the peaceful demonstrations held throughout Russia to protest alleged vote rigging by the ruling authorities in the December 4 vote, and "praised how Russian government authorities enabled the permissive conditions that allowed these demonstrations to occur peacefully and lawfully."

The statement said Obama told Medvedev that the demonstrations were an "expression of civil society" consistent with Medvedev's goal of modernizing Russia.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has previously accused the United States of inciting the protests following the reports of alleged voter fraud.

The vote was won by Putin's United Russia party, but the results will give the party a smaller majority in the State Duma house of parliament.

compiled from agency reports