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Moscow hits out at ‘caveman Russophobia’

Former Estonian FM Urmas Reinsalu has said that Russians living in the EU should not be allowed to vote in the 2024 presidential election

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called out what it called “caveman Russophobia” after ex-Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu suggested that EU member states should prevent Russian embassies from opening polling stations for next year’s presidential election.

The vote is slated for a three-day period from March 15 to 17, with the winner to be inaugurated in May.

Speaking to RIA Novosti on Sunday, a Foreign Ministry representative said that Moscow is “not at all surprised by Reinsalu’s statement, which goes in line with the ‘caveman’ Russophobia characteristic of modern EU politicians and the ‘collective West’ in general.” It was also noted that the former Estonian minister’s proposal runs counter to the West’s professed adherence to the principles of democracy, with the right to vote being among its cornerstones.

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We see in this nothing but an attempt to introduce one more discriminatory measure against compatriots living in Estonia,” the ministry added. Russian officials also pointed out that the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations does not oblige embassies to apply for the host nation’s permission to open polling stations on their premises – contrary to what Reinsalu appeared to suggest.

The latter argued that it would be “absurd if European countries allow polling stations to open in Russian embassies on their territory in March.” Reinsalu later clarified to the media outlet Postimees that Moscow would have to request permission from the Estonian Foreign Ministry, which could refuse.

On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin officially filed papers to register as an independent presidential candidate with Russia’s Central Election Commission. If victorious, he would serve a fifth term in office.

Several major Russian parties, including the Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), and New People have also signaled they will put forward candidates. Furthermore, a number of public figures and politicians have also announced their intent to run as independents.

December 24, 2023 at 09:23PM

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