Estonia refuses Russian request to open additional polling stations for the presidential elections

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied the Russian Embassy’s request to open additional polling stations for Russia’s presidential elections.

ERR reports that Sandra Kamilova, a spokesperson for the Estonian Foreign Ministry, confirmed this decision to the news service Radio 4.

"Representatives of foreign countries operating in Estonia have the right to hold elections only with the permission of the Estonian Foreign Ministry. They [the elections] may only be conducted in their missions or consulates. Therefore, the Russian Embassy may hold elections only in Tallinn, Tartu and Narva," said Kamilova.

Russian Ambassador to Estonia Aleksandr Petrov previously said that his embassy sent a note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia with a request to permit voting in several Estonian cities where Russian citizens reside.

The ambassador noted that the interest in the elections is quite large, and that that the existing premises of the embassy and consulates are therefore inadequate.

On September 18, 2016, nine polling stations were opened in Estonia for 85,000 Russian citizens during Russia’s State Duma elections, including four stations in Tallinn on the premises of the embassy and consulate, four on the premises of the Russian Consulate General in Narva, and one in the consular office of the Russian Embassy in Tartu.

In total, more than 10,000 Russian citizens in Estonia took part in the 2016 elections.

The presidential election will be held on March 18, 2018.

  Estonia, Russian elections