Hillary Clinton Cites Serious Concerns in Russia Voting

By ANNE GEARAN | December 5, 2011 | 9:56 AM EST

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton poses for photos with an Afghan women's civil society delegation during an international conference on the future of Afghanistan, Monday, Dec. 5, 2011, in Bonn, Germany. Representatives of more than 90 countries and organizations are gathering to discuss the future of Afghanistan after the eventual withdrawal of foreign military forces. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, Pool)

BONN, Germany (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the U.S. has "'serious concerns" about the conduct of Russia's parlimentary elections.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's party saw its majority in Russia's parliament weaken sharply, according to preliminary election results released Monday. Some opposition politicians and election monitors said that even a result of around 50 percent for Putin's United Russia party was inflated because of vote fraud. Their claims were backed by international observers, as Clinton noted during remarks in Bonn, Germany.

She says her opinion matters less than that of Russian voters, whom she says deserve the right to know their votes were fairly cast and counted.

Clinton cited possible fraud including ballot-stuffing and manipulation of voter lists.

She travels next to Lithuania for a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which monitors election fraud.