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Leader of Moldova's rightwing opposition calls for leaving CIS

January 20, 0:13 UTC+3 CHISINAU

Earlier this week, Moldova's Liberal Party, which is known to advocate unification of the country with Romania, registered a bill on withdrawal from the CIS in parliament

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CHISINAU, January 20. /TASS/. The leader of Moldova's rightwing Party of Action and Solidarity, Maia Sandu spoke on Friday for the country's withdrawal from the Commonwealth of Independent States.

"The right-wing parties have discussed the idea of Moldova's withdrawal from the CIS more than once but there was never enough political will to bring the whole story to an end," she told Moldovan television.

She claimed that the agreements, which Moldova had signed in the framework of the CIS, "[...] are used for political purposes and hence they don't bring any real benefits."

Sandu said it was important for Moldova to build good relations with CIS member-states including Russia.

"Still cooperation should be based on the principle of mutual respect, as long as it is possible in the conditions where one partner [an obvious reference to Russia TASS] doesn't always play by the rules," she said.

Earlier this week, Moldova's Liberal Party, which is known to advocate unification of the country with Romania, registered a bill on withdrawal from the CIS in parliament.

It alleges that Russia has violated the agreements adopted by the CIS, as it supports what "the separatist regime in Transdniestria [the much-troubled independence-minded Dniester region, also known as the self-proclaimed unrecognized Dniester Republic TASS]" and keeps its peacekeeping contingent there.

Moldova ratified the document on instituting the CIS in April 1994.

In the meantime, President Igor Dodon said he would not admit Moldova’s departure from the CIS.

"I find it unacceptable, as this step would deal a blow to the interests of Moldovan people, in the first place," he told TASS. "We’ll do our best to prevent it."

Withdrawal from the CIS would create huge risks for Moldova that signed hundreds of agreements within its framework and about 600,000 Moldovans are working in Russia, Dodon said.

He promised the decision would not take effect even if the parliament adopted it.

"Withdrawal from the CIS takes twelve months and a parliamentary election is to be held at the end of the year and the Socialist Party will come to power," Dodon said. "The Socialists will cancel this decision."

Members of the Democratic Party of Moldova, which controls the majority of seats in the country’s unicameral parliament, have sized up the Liberals’ motion as the start of an election campaign.

"The Democratic Party has never advocated this kind of an approach," the party press secretary Vitalie Gamurari told reporters. "We’ve never seen any problems in keeping up relations in the format of the former Soviet Union simultaneously with the process of European integration.

"This is probably an election campaign of a sort," he said, adding that the Liberals had not spoken about Moldova’s withdrawal from the CIS previously.

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