MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. Sunday elections in Gagauzia, a Moscow-leaning autonomous region in Moldova, reflect Moldovan society’s moods towards closer ties with Russia, giving hope that bilateral relations will improve, the head of the Russian upper house’s international affairs committee said on Monday.
According to early reports, winning the election with more than 51% of the vote is independent candidate Irina Vlah, an advocate of Moldova’s rapprochement with Russia. Under the Moldovan law, she becomes member of the country’s government.
Opinion polls across Moldova suggest that "supporters of joining the Customs Union (of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan) and the Eurasian Economic Union constantly outnumber those who seek association (with the EU) and Moldova’s joining the European Union".
"In this respect, the actions of the Moldovan authorities are quite obviously at variance with moods of the Moldovan society," he said. Kosachev sees as an optimistic tendency the fact "that politicians who adequately perceive moods of the people, who grasp public demands and react to them, are assuming leading positions".
Kosachev spoke of a need to enhance the inter-regional context in Russian-Moldovan relations.
The election campaign in Gagauzia, which traditionally favours closer relations with Russia, was held on the backdrop of confrontation with the Moldovan authorities, which have embarked on a course towards integration into the European Union.
In February 2014, Gagauzia held a referendum, where 98% of voters spoke in favour of integration into the Russian-led Customs Union. Chisinau declared the Gagauz referendum illegitimate and opened criminal cases against its organizers.