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Friendship with Russia is no obstacle for Moldova’s relations with West - Dodon

January 30, 1:11 updated at: January 30, 2:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Small countries are doomed to have good relations with both the West and the East, Moldova’s President said

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Russia's president Vladimir Putin (L) and Moldova's president Igor Dodon

Russia's president Vladimir Putin (L) and Moldova's president Igor Dodon

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. Friendship with Russia is no obstacle for Moldova’s relations with Western countries and in no way hampers its cooperation with Europe and the United States, Moldova’s President Igor Dodon said on Sunday.

"Being friends with Russia in no way means to be at war with Europe. The biggest mistake of the current parliamentary majority, which is seeking to present itself as pro-European, is that it is anti-Russian. The fact that I am committed to strategic partnership with Russia does not mean that I am against the European Union, against cooperation with the United States, and so on," he said in an interview with the RTVI television channel.

"Small countries are doomed, not merely must, but are really doomed to have good relations with both the West and the East. We have practically no other options. We have a border in the west, practically with NATO as Romania is a European Union member and a NATO member state, and we have Ukraine in the east," he said, noting that it would be wrong to say that Moldova would build relations with only one of the sides.

Dodon, an advocate of closer economic and political cooperation with Russia and revision of a number of provisions of Moldova’s agreement on association with the European Union, was elected president in 2016. He said earlier that strategic partnership with Russia was a guarantee of Moldova’s statehood and called to resume comprehensive dialogue with Russia at the governmental level. Relations between the two states strained in 2017 after Chisinau has expelled a number of Russian diplomats and declared Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin a persona non grata.

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