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Moldova to remain neutral, will not join anti-Russian sanctions — president

If we leave the country without fuel and destabilize the situation here, it won’t be helpful to anyone, President Maia Sandu said

CHISINAU, April 2. /TASS/. The government of Moldova will retain its neutral stance and will not join Western sanctions targeting Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, President Maia Sandu said in an interview with the Moldovan Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL, deemed a foreign agent in Russia).

"There are certain things that we must provide for our citizens. If we leave the country without fuel and destabilize the situation here, it won’t be helpful to anyone," she said, adding that "neither Moldova, nor Ukraine, nor our Western partners" will benefit from a situation of this kind.

In her words, the conflict in the neighboring country affected the economic situation in Moldova.

"We don’t have access to the markets of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. Exports and imports to those countries have been effectively blocked as a result of the conflict," she said, commenting on the possibility of export-and import-related restrictions.

Sandu also mentioned Moldova’s strong dependence on fuel deliveries from Russia.

"Can we afford leaving our country without natural gas or electricity today? No, we can’t, for the sake of our citizens and for the sake of 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, including 50,000 children," the Moldovan leader said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24 said in an early morning televised address that he had launched a special military operation in Ukraine in response to a request for help from the leaders of the Donbass republics. He stressed that Moscow had no intention of occupying Ukrainian territories, the sole purpose of the operation, the leader stressed, is the demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine.

Western countries responded by imposing sanctions on Russia. According to the Russian president, the sanctions have dealt a serious blow to the global economy in its entirety, and brought an end to the West’s political and economic dominance.