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Editors of Russian media discuss preparations for 2018 presidential election in Tel Aviv

A total of 385 polling stations will be open for the election in 145 countries of the world

TEL-AVIV, February20. /TASS/. Editors of the Russian-language news media from about 30 countries, who gathered in Tel Aviv for a conference of the World Association of Russian Press [WARP] discussed preparations for the March 2018 presidential election in Russia.

Taking part in the conference were officials from Russia’s Central Election Commission [CEC], Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and Repatriation Minister Sofa Landver, among others.

Representatives of Israeli police and the deputy of the Knesset [parliament] Ksenia Svetlova took the floor at the conference.

The participants shared information on how many polling stations would be open on March 18 and where and discussed the special features of preparations for the Russian presidential election.

The speakers said they could feel a rising interest towards the election among the Russian-speaking communities outside of Russia.

A total of 385 polling stations will be open for the election in 145 countries of the world.

"We’re discussing an issue that’s very important for the Russian Federation," said Vassily Likhachov, a member of the Central Election Commission. "This conference is taking place thirty days before we have the first preliminary results of the voting. Almost 2 million Russian citizens are registered at the Russian Consulates abroad. This is an impressive figure and the CEC, the Foreign Ministry and the Russian President’s Administration have had to do a lot of work in this connection."

He said he did not mean some specific results on the turnout of voters and the voting in favor of one or another candidate.

"We’re saying today the CEC has a duty to ensure all the organizational, legal and - like it or not - even psychological conditions for everyone who would like to come to the polls outside of Russia and vote," Likhachov said.

WARP President Vitaly Ignatenko told reporters that the Russian-language media around the world lived by the same ideas and events as the whole of Russia did and that is why the presidential election was one of the main issues at the conference in Tel Aviv.

"It’s very important that our colleagues should be fully informed," he said. "We need to know their thoughts and opinions about how voting will be organized in their countries and what opportunities we have for supporting them."

Taking part in the conference along with editors-in-chief of the Russian-language foreign media are executives from major media outlets inside Russia - TASS, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Kommersant, and Moskovsky Komsomolets.

"We’ve had profession, open and frank debates here," said TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman.