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Russia will open election polling stations in US for citizens voting overseas this March

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The Russian government will be offering citizens living in the United States a chance to vote in the upcoming presidential elections. 

Russian officials announced Wednesday that polling stations will be opened at consulates in the U.S. during the March election.

‘In the U.S., we plan to open three polling stations: in our embassy in Washington, as well as our consulates in New York and in Houston,’ said Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov, according to Agence France-Presse.

Moscow previously expressed hesitancy toward opening polling locations overseas in ‘unfriendly’ countries.

‘We are asking countries to ensure security,’ Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova previously said.

President Vladimir Putin submitted his nomination papers to the Central Election Commission last month for the March 17 election, which he is widely expected to win. The former intelligence officer continues to hold overwhelming political power in Russia’s government and institutions. 

Liberal Democratic Party candidate Leonid Slutsky and New People Party candidate Vladislav Davankov were approved for the March election by official earlier this month. 

Danankov currently serves as the deputy speaker for the state Duma — Russia’s lower legislative chamber. Slutsky is the head of the state Duma’s foreign affairs committee.

The Russian Communist Party has registered candidate Nikolai Kharitonov to stand in the election.

While ostensibly rivals for the nation’s top executive position, communist Nikolai Kharitonov, nationalist Slutsky, and liberal-leaning Davankov are widely seen as mere token opposition by analysts.

Not all individuals seeking to run against Putin have been given clearance to stand for election.

Yekaterina Duntsova — an independent politician who wanted to run on a platform to end the war with Ukraine — had her candidacy application unanimously rejected by the country’s electoral commission on Saturday, which cited ‘numerous violations’ in the papers she had submitted.

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