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Moldovan metropolitan warns citizens against riots during protests

January 24, 15:01 UTC+3 CHISINAU
"I call on you to come on Sunday in the religious house to pray altogether for the God to bless the country with calm and peace," he said
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CHISINAU, January 24. /TASS/. Metropolitan Vladimir of Chisinau and All Moldova has called on citizens not to allow riots during the opposition protests that began on Sunday in the country’s capital.

"The situation in the society is tense. I as a clergyman of Moldova’s Orthodox Church, as a Christian, as a citizen of this country, ask everyone on whom all this depends to preserve calm and understanding in our society so that, God help, no bloodshed occurs," the metropolitan said in an address broadcast by Moldova’s television.

"I call on you to come on Sunday in the religious house to pray altogether for the God to bless the country with calm and peace," he said.

A TASS correspondent reported from the scene that security has been tightened in Chisinau amid the protests where tens of thousands of people have come in organized columns.

Amid fears of riots, organizers said the rally to support the government of Pavel Filip in Moldova on Sunday has been canceled. Ahead of the rally, Moldova’s authorities called on the protest leaders to refrain from violence.

The opposition says Moldova is "a country seized by oligarchs" and refuses to recognize the new cabinet of ministers, calling for the dissolution of parliament and early parliamentary elections.

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