NewsDelays at Estonia-Russia border impact voters amid election weekend

Delays at Estonia-Russia border impact voters amid election weekend

Presidential elections in Russia
Presidential elections in Russia
Images source: © EPA, PAP | MAXIM SHIPENKOV
4:58 AM EDT, March 16, 2024

Russians residing in Estonia are now experiencing prolonged delays when crossing the border at Narva to participate in Russia's presidential elections, primarily due to intensified checks by Estonian police, as reported by ERR television on Friday.

The war in Ukraine: Follow our live coverage for the most crucial updates

While the border is shut to vehicular traffic, around 3,000 people still manage to cross it on foot daily. Nonetheless, reporters at the Narva border crossing on Friday observed a scant number of individuals aiming to vote across the border. The voting period for the Russian presidential elections commenced on Friday and is set to conclude on Sunday.

In past elections, the inhabitants of Narva, Estonia's city with a large Russian-speaking population, had the convenience of voting at the consulate located in their city. This option was revoked following the onset of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Now, residents of this eastern city have the option to vote in Ivangorod on foot, owing to the border closure, or travel to Tallinn, which is a journey of less than 125 miles.

"When questioned about their electoral choices, Russian voters predominantly evade the topic," ERR television conveyed.

"I voted for Russia," responded one voter when pressed for an answer.

Estonian authorities have imposed extra checks at the border-during the election period, aiming to inspect travelers' final destinations or residential details, as noted by ERR.

In a recollection of the previous presidential elections in Russia, ERR highlighted that 94% of Narva’s electorate cast their votes for Vladimir Putin.

Related content