MOSCOW, November 21. /TASS/. Moldovan President Igor Dodon has promised to guard the status of the Russian language in his country.
"Let me note that almost the entire population of the country is more or less fluent in Russian. Over a million Moldovan citizens consider Russian to be the main language of everyday communication, and Russian has been legally granted the status of the nation’s interethnic communication language. That’s very important, and I would like to tell you that as the president, I will protect that," Dodon stressed addressing Russia's State Duma (lower house of parliament) on Wednesday
Earlier this week, Moldova’s Liberal Party seeking unification with Romania, called for abandoning the use of Russian in parliament and banning those individuals who have no command of the official language from taking part in elections to the country’s legislature. The party also demanded invalidating the special status of Russian as a language of interethnic communication.
In 1989, at the height of Mikhail Gorbachev’s reforms, Moldova’s parliament declared Moldovan the state language and said the nation would switch to the Latin alphabet from the Cyrillic one.
However, the populations of two breakaway regions, Transnistria and Gagauzia, demanded that Russian be made the second state language as 90% of the country’s population were fluent in it and it was the major language of everyday communication for every third resident. Debates on the issue later helped to spur on the beginning of conflicts in Gagauzia and Transnistria.