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Moldovan top diplomat says development of ties with Russia top priority

May 13, 2016, 20:30 UTC+3 CHISINAU

Development of mutually beneficial relations with Russia is a top priority for the Moldovan government — Foreign Minister

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© AP Photo/John McConnico

CHISINAU, May 13. /TASS/. Moldova’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Andrei Galbur said on Friday development of mutually beneficial relations with Russia has always been a top priority for the Moldovan government.

"Our people doesn’t want to see Moldova becoming a ground for geopolitical clashes. We are interested in developing traditionally friendly relations with Russia preserving the right to choose our own path of development," he said in an interview with Newsmaker, a local internet media outlet. "This is the only right approach and it will make it possible for us to avoid steps and actions that might be fraught with future barriers no one wants, neither Moldova nor Russia nor our international partners."

He drew attention to the fact that accession to NATO the Liberal Party of the ruling coalition is calling for is prohibited by the Moldovan constitution. He also disavowed pronouncements by the country’s Defense Minister Anatol Salaru who has recently said that Russia is conducting "a hybrid warfare against Moldova."

"I don’t agree. I don’t think there are any serious grounds for such allegations," Galbur said. In his words, relations between the two countries are built not on "pronouncements of politicians of various types both Moldova and Russia have in abundance" but on the ability of each side "to understand and respect real vital interests of the state and society which may be different."

At the same time, the Moldovan top diplomat admitted that relations between the two countries have been somewhat tense after Moldova embarked on a path towards closer relations with the European Union. Among the problems in bilateral relations he cited obstacles on the path of Moldovan exports to Russia, protracting the process of the Transdiestria settlement and suspension of the process of withdrawal of Russian military from the republic Chisinau has been insisting on. The minister expressed confidence that in a bid to narrow these gaps Moldova should "enliven dialogue with Russia at all levels."

"I think our Russian partners share this approach, which was proved during my recent visit to Moscow last month. We had detailed and fruitful talks on the entire spectrum of uneasy issues of bilateral relations with my Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov," Galbur said.

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