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Moldovan president pledges to strengthen strategic cooperation with Russia

Moldova, in his words, should be friends with both the West and the East

CHISINAU, July 25. /TASS/. Moldovan President Igor Dodon said on Tuesday his top priority tasks include consolidation of Moldova’s statehood, Orthodox faith, neutrality and strategic cooperation with Russia, and resolution of the Transnistrian problem.

"There are principled things I will never back away from. It is Moldova’s statehood - no bargaining is possible on that. It is neutrality - we will not survive as a state if we plunge into geopolitical games. It is Orthodox faith, which is the basis of our statehood. It is strategic partnership with Russia. And last but not least - reunification of the country, resolution of the Transnistrian problem," he said during a question-and-answer session in the Odnoklassniki social network.

Moldova, in his words, should be friends with both the West and the East. "We will develop relations with all," he pledged, adding he would struggle against parties advocating Moldova’s unification with Romania and dismantling its statehood.

"Traian Basescu [Romania’s former president advocating the idea of Moldova’s intergration into Romania - TASS] is the one who is to be declared persona non grata in Moldova, as well as all those who stand against the country’s sovereignty. Basescu is on the trial in Romania. Is he going to flee to Moldova to avoid punishment? We will not let him do that," Dodon stressed.

Touching on the Transnistrian problem, the Moldovan president noted that the conflict is unlikely to be resolved this year or next year as "there are people in the parliament and in the government who oppose the country’s reunification."

"I am ready to accelerate efforts but there will be little support for that. Political settlement will appear on the agenda in late 2018 - early 2019, after presidential elections. Now we must focus on how to help ordinary people living on both banks of the Dniester," Dodon said, adding that the current task is to find a solution to the issue of recognition of university diplomas, communications problems, cessation of criminal proceedings and other current problems.