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Vladimir Putin wins fifth term as President of Russia

Vladimir Putin has won his fifth term as President of the Russian Federation with over 87% of the vote in the March 15-17 election, according to the Russian state agency TASS.

At a news conference, Vladimir Putin thanked the Russians for their trust, noting that he would do everything possible to fulfill the set tasks and achieve the major goals. He said that Russia’s elections were democratic, not as in other states, including the U.S., where “administrative resources are widely used”.

During the conference, the Russian leader was asked about the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who recently died in prison. According to Putin, who commented on Navalny for the first time since his death, there were other cases when people died in prison. “Haven’t there been such cases in the United States? There have been, and not only one,” he responded to a question put by an American journalist. Putin said unnamed people made an offer to release Navalny in a swap deal with the West a few days before he died. “The person who spoke to me hadn’t finished his sentence, and I said I agree. But, unfortunately, what happened happened. I agreed under one condition: we swap him, and he doesn’t come back. But such is life,” said Putin.

The Moldovan authorities haven’t yet published messages related to Vladimir Putin’s re-election. Congratulations were addressed by ex-President Igor Dodon. “I congratulate Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin on his convincing victory in the presidential election. It was a record result – a proof of massive trust and strong support from the Russian people,” Igor Dodon said.

A congratulatory message was also sent by fugitive politician Ilan Shor. “I’m convinced that most of our citizens see the Russian Federation as a reliable friend and partner. I and my team will do everything possible and impossible for the relations between Moldova and Russia to become in the shortest possible time the warmest and friendliest throughout the entire period of independence of the Republic of Moldova,” said Ilan Shor.

For the Russian presidential elections, the Moldovan authorities authorized the opening of only one polling station – inside the Russian Embassy in Chisinau. A number of Russian citizens went to vote there las Sunday. Near noon, a man threw two containers with flammable substances over the Embassy’s fence. According to the General Police Inspectorate, the man was immediately detained and identified. When being questioned, he argued that he is dissatisfied with the actions of the Russian authorities.

However, the administration of the Transnistrian region allowed opening polling stations in Tiraspol, Bender, Rybnitsa, and Grigoriopol. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned Russia’s unauthorized electoral activities on the sovereign territory of Moldova in the administrative-territorial units on the left bank of the Nistru. “We call on the international community to support the rules-based order and denounce Russia’s actions,” it said. Embassies of a number of states working in the Republic of Moldova also came with condemnatory reactions.

About 114 million Russians were eligible to vote in the presidential election in Russia. The ballot began on Friday and ended on Sunday with Vladimir Putin’s predictable victory. Other candidates garnered less than 4.5% of the ballot.

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