MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia praised a Belarussian parliamentary election that was dismissed in the West as a sham, saying on Tuesday that the vote was free and open and charging that criticism from international observers was politically biased.

"We are certain that Belarussian citizens were able to make their conscious choice" in the election on Sunday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It said monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, who said a day earlier that the election was not free, had taken a "politicized approach".

(Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel)