Estonia wants to revoke Russian citizens’ voting rights

All permanent residents of Estonia, including Russian citizens and stateless persons, have the right to vote in local elections. But as a consequence of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine the country’s Ministry of Justice is preparing a draft law which would deprive Russian citizens of the right to vote. The Estonian press is at odds over whether the move makes sense.

Postimees (EE) /

Citizenship is a statement

Postimees is against russian citizens participating in the Estonian elections:

“It’s clear that under the current circumstances, retaining citizenship of the Russian Federation means support for the aggressor state. Who did the Russian citizens living in Estonia vote for in the presidential election at the embassy? For Putin! Granting the right to vote in local elections in Estonia was a political compromise at the time. Now the situation has changed fundamentally. The Russian Federation has been declared an aggressor by the United Nations and its citizens living in Estonia should not be allowed to vote in local elections.”

Eesti Päevaleht (EE) /

Say no to collective blame

Depriving Russian citizens of the right to vote testifies to a problematic understanding of democracy, social democrat Eduard Odinets admonishes in Eesti Päevaleht:

“Should we blame everyone who holds the passport of an aggressor state for the actions of the criminal regime? Will it really help the process of naturalisation and integration in Estonia to hold everyone whose passport bears the flag of the aggressor state collectively responsible? Or will we achieve the opposite by restricting the political rights of tens of thousands of permanent residents? In my opinion, fuelling such discontent would be a greater security risk for Estonia than allowing them to vote in local elections.”

Eduard Odinets