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Moldova to allow voting by Russian citizens only at Russian embassy — envoy

Oleg Vasnetsov noted that the Moldovan ministry said that the opening of polling stations in Transnistria was unacceptable

CHISINAU, February 8. /TASS/. The Moldovan government has given permission to organize voting in Russia’s presidential election next month only on the premises of the Russian embassy, Russian Ambassador to Chisinau Oleg Vasnetsov told TASS.

"On February 7, the Moldovan Foreign Ministry notified us of a political decision to allow voting on the embassy's premises," he said.

Vasnetsov added that the Moldovan ministry said that the opening of polling stations in Transnistria was unacceptable.

The ambassador noted that the Moldovan authorities were informed about the diplomatic mission's intention to organize voting in the Russian presidential election for Russian citizens permanently residing in Moldova as early as three months ago. "We submitted a request to ensure the security of polling stations, as is customary in international practice. This is a regular procedure that is applied both by our embassy in Chisinau and by the Moldovan diplomatic mission when organizing voting in Russia," the ambassador stressed.

The Federation Council designated March 17, 2024 as the date of Russia’s presidential election. The Central Election Commission (CEC) then decided that voting will take place over a three-day period on March 15-17, making this election Russia’s first three-day presidential election.

Previous election

A total of 27 polling stations were opened in Moldova for the Russian presidential election in March 2018. Three of them were in Moldova, while another 24 were in Transnistria, where most Russian citizens live.

Relations between Chisinau and Moscow deteriorated in 2021 after Moldovan President Maia Sandu and her pro-European Action and Solidarity Party came to power. They worsened considerably in 2022 when Moscow accused Chisinau of unfriendly actions, to which Moldova responded with accusations of interference in the country’s internal affairs. Back then, Moldova demanded the expulsion of several dozen Russian embassy staff members from the country. In turn, Moscow took retaliatory actions.