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Dodon says he will visit Russia as leader of Moldova’s largest political party

When his presidency is over, Dodon said, he will focus on strengthening the Party of Socialists, the biggest political organization in his country

CHISINAU, November 19. /TASS/. Moldova’s incumbent president, Igor Dodon, has said that he will pay a working visit to Russia in the capacity of his country’s largest political party - the Party of Socialists - which he will lead when his current term of office expires.

"We agreed with the deputy chief of Russia’s presidential staff, Dmitry Kozak, on my working visit to Russia for a discussion of a number of crucial issues of Moldovan-Russian cooperation. In all likelihood, I will make the trip as the leader of the Party of Socialists, which I will lead after leaving the post of the head of state. Our party has agreements on cooperation with United Russia and other Russian political parties," Dodon told TASS.

When his presidency is over, Dodon said, he will focus on strengthening the Party of Socialists, the biggest political organization in his country.

"Our party is the country’s largest. It has the best infrastructure, with the largest faction in parliament and its members taking the posts of mayors in the capital Chisinau and a number of cities and of the leaders of some regions. It must be strengthened, though. It has to be acknowledged that far from enough was done in recent years to make the party stronger. In the meantime, the party is the social lift that ensured the election of the president, speaker of parliament, prime minister, many government ministers and heads of local authorities in districts and cities," Dodon said.

Special attention would be paid to enhancing international cooperation.

"We are determined to give a fresh impetus to interaction with foreign policy partners. The Socialists have agreements on cooperation not only with Russian parties, but also with political parties in China, Turkey, Serbia, Iran and other states. We have taken steps towards closer relations with the Social-Democratic Party of Germany, the Socialist International and other international organizations. I am going to take care of all this seriously in the near future," Dodon said.

Earlier on Thursday, following a telephone conversation with Kozak, Dodon said that he would pay a working visit to Russia. He said that Kozak had thanked him for efforts aimed at strengthening strategic partnership between Moldova and Russia. He recalled that as a result of those efforts Moldova signed a memorandum on cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union in April 2017 and became the first country enjoying an observer status in that organization.

Moldova on November 15 held a presidential election runoff. The Central Election Commission said the leader of the pro-European Party of Action and Solidarity, Maia Sandu, emerged the winner with 57.7% of the votes, while Dodon collected 42.2%. By November 25, the CEC will summarize the election returns and submit them to the Constitutional Court for approval. If candidates challenge the results, the Constitutional Court will have to wait for the end of litigations in courts of lower instance. Dodon’s term of office expires on December 23. After that he will perform the duties of the head of state until the president-elect is sworn in.