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Moldovan president urges new parliament to respect Russian language, other ethnic groups

March 21, 18:58 UTC+3 CHISINAU

The previous parliament sought to strip the Russian language of its special status as a language of international communication in Moldova

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CHISINAU, March 21. /TASS/. Moldovan President Igor Dodon has urged the parliamentary parties to stop capitalizing on inciting ethnic tensions.

"The rights of (our) fellow countrymen who speak a different language, have a different culture and traditions must not be disregarded," the president said in his first speech to the new parliament elected on February 24.

"We must respect the rights of each group of the population, and even respect those who use the Russian language as the language of international communication," he added, stressing that dozens of ethnicities have been living on that territory for ages. "They all see Moldova as their Fatherland, that is why there can be no place for inter-ethnic squabbling in our politics," Dodon stressed.

The previous parliament sought to strip the Russian language of its special status as a language of international communication in Moldova. This, actually, was done, when on June 4, 2018, the Moldovan Constitutional Court annulled the law on the special status of Russian as a language of international communication in the country. It was a framework law, which determined the status of Moldova’s languages and established the corresponding status for the Russian language. President Igor Dodon condemned this decision.

Moldovan parliamentarians, seeking unification with Romania, also spoke against the use of the Russian language in the parliament, and suggested that people who don’t speak the state language be banned from running in parliamentary elections.

The dispute around the status of the Russian language has triggered protests across Moldova with rallies taking place in some of its cities. The move by the Constitutional Court was also condemned by the autonomous region of Gagauzia and the breakaway Transnistria.

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