RIGA – During the presidential elections in Russia last week, support provided to President Vladimir Putin by Russian citizens living in Latvia turned out considerably larger than it was in Russia.
Information regarding election results in three election sites in Riga shows that 93.61% or 11,878 voters voted for Putin, as reported by the Central Election Commission.
Pavel Grudinin from the Communist Party is second with 2.87% of votes. Ksenya Sobchak is third with 1.06% of votes, and Vladimir Zhirinovsky is fourth with 0.98% of votes.
Grigory Yavlinski from Yabloko party received 0.43% of votes in Riga. As many votes were cast in favour of Sergei Baburin from Russian People’s Union. Maksim Suraikin from Russian Communists party received 0.38% of votes, and Boris Titov from Growth party – 0.25%.
Putin took the lead in Liepaja as well – 96.84% of Russian citizens living there voted for him. Grudinin was second with 1.22% of votes, followed by Zhirinovsky with 0.83% of votes, Suraikin with 0.25%, Baburin with 0.22%. The rest – Yavlinsky, Sobchak and Titov – did not receive even 0.5% of votes there.
Data for Russian presidential elections in Daugavpils are not yet available.
As reported, provisional results from the Central Election Commission show that Putin received 77% of votes from Russian citizens in Latvia. According to data from the Public Mind survey, Putin received 77%, whereas data from VCIOM states that he received 73.9%.
Aside from Putin, there were also seven other candidates. Grudinin, according to data from the commission, received 11.82% of votes. Zhirinovsky received 5.68% of votes; Sobchak received 1.66% of votes, Yavlinsky – 1.04%, Titov – 0.75%, Suraikin – 0.68%, and Baburin – 0.65%.
Voter activity reached approximately 67% in Latvia, based on analysis of 95% of election commission documents. In the previous presidential elections of 2012, voter activity was 65.3% among Russian citizens.
According to information from CEC, the number of reports regarding violations is insignificant.
Activists from Russian opposition and NGOs reported many violations recorded during elections on Sunday, 18 March. The main violations included use of fake ballots and putting voting urns outside the range of surveillance conferences.
Member of the European Parliament Artis Pabriks on results of elections in Russia: «Results of elections in Russia, which came as no surprise to anyone, create the impression that the country’s policy will not change and the tension between the west and Russia will not decline. This is because Russia’s president has a need to create an image of a strict leader who defends the interests of his country on an international level. This seems acceptable for a large majority of Russians, because it creates the sense of self-respect. People believe – if people fear us, they respect us. This helps avert eyes from the country’s economic state, social problems and actual problems.»
Pabriks also believes that western policy is made more difficult by internal conflicts and reduction of Trans-Atlantic trust, which makes the dialogue with Russia all the more complicated to perform. The close economic ties of multiple European member states with Russia prevent them from taking a clear and strict stance, which Russia uses in its interests. Pabriks believes Russia will continue using this in its interest in the future.