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Elections in Moldova’s Gagauzia show citizens seek to develop ties with Moscow — ForMin

March 24, 2015, 10:32 UTC+3
This creates a solid basis for the further development of inter-regional ties with the region which is historically close to Russia in the economic, social, cultural and educational spheres
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© EPA/DUMITRU DORU

MOSCOW, March 24. /TASS/. The results of the elections in the Moldovan autonomous region Gagauzia create a solid basis for the further development of relations with Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

Independent candidate Irina Vlakh was elected the new head of the tiny Moldovan region on Sunday, gaining more than 51% of the vote. Vlakh is an advocate of Moldova’s rapprochement with Russia.

"The results of the elections in Gagauzia prove that a significant number of the citizens of the autonomous region voted for developing the traditionally close relations with the Russian Federation," the ministry said.

The ministry said "this creates a solid basis for the further development of inter-regional ties with the region which is historically close to Russia in the economic, social, cultural and educational spheres."

"We presume that the voting was held in accordance with the Moldovan and local legislation, and the voters made their conscious civilian choice," the ministry stressed.

Vlakh is supported by the Socialist Party that received the majority of seats in the country’s parliament during the November elections. Until now, Vlakh was a deputy of the parliament. Under Moldova’s law, the head of Gagauzia becomes a member of the country’s government.

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.

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