Home World Russia elections: Moscow accused of illegally printing ballot papers in Moldova

Russia elections: Moscow accused of illegally printing ballot papers in Moldova

Moscow has been accused of breaking the law in the pro-Russian region of Transnistria, internationally recognised as part of Moldova, in the run-up to this week’s presidential election in Russia.

Oleg Serebrian, Deputy Prime Minister for Reintegration of Moldova, accused Russia of illegally printing ballot papers in the separatist area.

Speaking during a government meeting, Mr Serebrian said: “These ballots were more than likely printed right there to avoid taking them through a border crossing.

“It is hard to say how they would have been brought over a border. Moldova’s borders are controlled and there is no way of legally bringing them in or taking them out.”

The politician, responsible for “reintegrating” the region, argued printing the ballot in Transnistria had the aim of showing that the region disregarded the laws enshrined by the Moldovan pro-Western central government.

This warning came just hours after Moldova summoned the Russian ambassador to Moldova’s capital city Chisinau, Oleg Vasnetsov, over Moscow’s decision to open six polling stations in the breakaway region.

The Moldovan Foreign Ministry said: “This action violates international law, undermining Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

This ministry had previously granted Russia permission – disregarded by the Kremlin – to open one polling station in Chisinau.

Mr Vasnetsov dismissed the protests voiced by the Moldovan ministry as “unfounded” and claimed the decision to set up multiple polling stations was meant to allow Russian citizens to participate in the elections.

Russians will be called to vote in the presidential election, the freedom and fairness of which are being doubted by international observers, between March 15 and 17.

Vladimir Putin, who secured constitutional changes in 2020 to be able to run once again for re-election, is widely expected to retain his post.

Following the beginning of the illegal invasion of Ukraine, Moldova’s pro-European President Maia Sandu voiced fears Russia was plotting to unseat her. Russia denied any allegations, saying instead Ms Sandu promotes Russophobia.

Ms Sandu also publicly thanked Ukrainians for fighting against Russia, adding she feared Moldova would be Putin’s next target without the resistance put up by Kyiv.


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