With 99.4% of the votes counted, the results of the presidential election in Russian on 4 March give 63.64% of the vote to Vladimir Putin. Voter turnout across Russia corresponded to 65.3% of 110 million registered voters.
“Over the past few months we have seen large groups of Russian society becoming actively involved in the political debate. This is an important and natural part of the development of democracy in Russia. We are pleased that the protests have so far been peaceful. We expect the authorities to continue to deal with the situation in a peaceful manner and respect the protesters’ right to freedom of expression,” said Mr Støre.
Norway has cooperated closely with Vladimir Putin for many years, both during his previous terms as president and during his time as prime minister.
Relations between Norway and Russia have improved during the period in which Mr Putin has held political responsibility. This applies generally to bilateral relations and in particular to cooperation between the two countries in the High North. The Norwegian authorities look forward to continuing their close cooperation with Mr Putin when he takes over the presidency in May.
“We also encourage the Russian leadership to focus more on developing the rule of law and democracy and promoting human rights,” said Mr Støre.