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Moldova will not allow Russia organize presidential election vote in Transnistria

Parliament Speaker Igor Grosu said the government may also prohibit the vote on the territory of the Russian Embassy in Chisinau

CHISINAU, February 2. /TASS/. The incumbent government of Moldova will not allow Russia to open polling stations for the Russian presidential election on the territory of unrecognized Transnistria, Parliament Speaker Igor Grosu told Jurnal TV in an interview.

"I think it would be illegal and incorrect to open polling stations on the territory which is not controlled [by Chisinau], without the approval of the Republic of Moldova," he said. "Indeed, Russia used to open polling stations in Transnistria before, but it was before we took office. It was illegitimate, but some people turned a blind eye to this."

He said that Moldovan government would do its best to prevent the vote and will not let Russian election officials and organizers enter.

Grosu, who is also the chairman of the ruling Party of Action and Solidarity, said the government may also prohibit the vote on the territory of the Russian Embassy in Chisinau.

Relations between Chisinau and Moscow cooled in 2021 after Moldovan President Maia Sandu and her pro-European Action and Solidarity Party came to power. They worsened significantly in 2022, when Moscow accused Chisinau of unfriendly actions, while Moldova hurled accusations about interference in the country’s internal affairs in return. Back then, Moldova demanded the expulsion of several dozen employees of the Russian Embassy from the country. Moscow retaliated in kind.

The Russian Federation Council has scheduled the Russian presidential election for March 17, 2024. Voting will last three days: March 15, 16 and 17. Several hundred thousand Russian citizens live in Moldova and unrecognized Transnistria. Transnistria, a largely Russian-speaking region on the left bank of the Dniester River, broke away from Moldova in September 1990 when radical Moldovan politicians demanded that the republic withdraw from the former Soviet Union and unify with Romania. Its relations with Moldova’s central government in Chisinau have been highly mixed and extremely tense at times ever since then.