MOSCOW, November 30. /TASS/. The number of polling stations in Russia is obviously not enough for Moldovans living in this country, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and State Secretary Grigory Karasin said on Sunday.
“We are guided by a request from a country, Moldova in this case. It is up to the country to decide how many polling stations it plans to open,” he said. “But, obviously, it is not enough for Moldovan citizens staying in Russia.”
The Russian diplomat noted Russia’s Federal Migration Service had offered the so-called “visa amnesty” for Moldovans who wanted to take part in the elections at home. “We believe this is the maximum we can do,” he stressed.
The migration amnesty was announced for a period from November 5 to 30. Russia’s migration authorities say no sanctions will be imposed on Moldovans who have exceeded the sojourn time in Russia but want to go to their homeland to take part in the parliamentary elections. These people will be allowed to return to Russia if they have a job here.
The Moldovan government opened only five polling stations across the entire Russia for Moldovans willing to take part in the parliamentary elections on Sunday. These polling stations are located in Moscow, in the town of Ramenskoye in the Moscow region, in Novosibirsk, in St. Petersburg, and in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi. Meanwhile, according to official statistics, as many as 700,000 Moldovans are staying in Russia. Unofficial sources put this number at one million. However, according to Moldova’s election regulations, each polling station can have only 3,000 ballot papers.