MOSCOW, March 18. /TASS/. Polling stations have been set up in 144 countries for Russian citizens residing overseas to cast their vote in the 2018 presidential election. According to TASS reporters, Russian citizens have been more actively voting abroad that in the previous election in 2012 and in the parliamentary election in 2016.
For Russians living in London and its vicinity, the 2018 presidential election sparked heightened interest. Most of them came to the polling station in the Russian Embassy to fulfill their civic duty, while others were hurt by London’s recent accusations against Moscow over Skripal’s case, and still others came to cast their votes for the first time. A TASS correspondent reported from the scene that more than 3,400 Russian citizens cast their ballots as of 18:30 local time.
Meanwhile, more than 1,200 people voted in Russia’s Consulate General in Seattle (Washington) and in Portland, Oregon, Russian Consul General in Seattle Halit Aysin informed TASS. He noted that 1,201 people voted by 12:00 local time (22:00 Moscow time). Around the same number of people came to the Russian embassy in Washington, D.C.
According to Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov, there were provocations during early balloting in Russia’s presidential election in the United States. He said that "a building where the voting was supposed to be held was splattered with some gunk. There were also instances when some individuals who permitted the use of their premises for the voting had received threats, and they were suddenly confronted with problems, so they were forced to abandon [their offers]," Antonov noted.
The voter turnout for the Russian presidential election in Cuba was very high, Chairman of the local election commission, Consul General Vasily Pronin told TASS. In all, 768 people voted as of 12:00 local time (19:00 Moscow time), he said, adding that the turnout at the current election is definitely higher than in the 2012 presidential election.
The number of Russian citizens who took part in the Russian presidential election at the two polling stations in South Africa amounted to 604 people, heads of the local election commission told TASS. The voting was held in Pretoria and in Johannesburg.
In the meantime, the presidential election was held at three polling stations in Serbia with a record high voter turnout, Russian Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Chepurin said. He said that "Serbia is home to about 1,900 Russian citizens who are eligible to vote," and 1300 came, while about 600 people voted in the previous election.
In India, 2,291 Russian citizens cast their votes in the Russian presidential election, which is three times more than during the 2016 parliamentary elections, when about 700 people voted. The sources in the Russian Embassy and the Consulates General informed TASS on Sunday that the majority of people voted in the resort state of Goa where more than 1,000 people came to the polling station.
Over 14,000 people took part in Russia’s presidential election in Latvia as of 17:00 Moscow time, the Russian Embassy in Riga reported. According to preliminary information, more than 14,000 voted at all polling stations in the country, including the March 17 early voting, the embassy said.
Eight candidates are running for the highest office in the Russian Federation.
Among them are: incumbent President Vladimir Putin; Pavel Grudinin, director of the Lenin State Farm (nominated by the Communist Party of Russia); TV personality and socialite Ksenia Sobchak (nominated by Civil Initiative); Sergey Baburin, head of the Russian People’s Union party; Maxim Suraikin, chairman of the Central Committee of the Communists of Russia party; Boris Titov, chairman of the Party of Growth and Russian Presidential Envoy for Entrepreneurs’ Rights; Grigory Yavlinsky, head of the Yabloko Party’s federal political committee; Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the Liberal-Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR).