CHISINAU, January 4. /TASS/. The Russian-Moldovan relations need to be reset at all levels, Moldovan President Igor Dodon said in an interview with TASS on Thursday.
"I am in favor of a reset in relations between Russia and Moldova at all levels. It will help relieve tension which appeared between our countries last year," he said. "We discussed this issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin at our talks on the sidelines of an informal CIS summit in Moscow at the end of the last year. I suggested the Russian foreign ministry commission its representatives to Moldova in the near future to discuss joint steps in this direction."
The Moldovan president said he hoped such a visit would be organized by the end of January.
"I can confirm that both Moldovan lawmakers and government officials expressed their interest in a meeting with a delegation from the Russian foreign ministry. I hope after the talks scheduled for late January, we will be able to enter a new stage of cooperation at the level of the intergovernmental commission, senior lawmakers and government officials," he noted, adding that tension in relations between the two countries was unacceptable as it ran counter to the interests of the Russian and Moldovan peoples.
Spread the wings
"I have always understood that Moldova will not be able to survive as a state without strategic partnership with Russia. At the general presidential elections, the Moldovan people gave me a mandate to restore partner relations with Russia. So, I am doing my best for that and have won support from the Russian president. And I will not drop this course," Dodon pledged and expressed regret that not all in the Moldovan government and parliament understood that.
"Many of them bank on closer cooperation with the West and are interested in curtailing ties with Russia. But the situation is changing: now more and more members of the legislative body and the cabinet of ministers begin to understand that such a small country as Moldova should spread both of its wings to defend its interests in the world and cooperate with both the West and the East. One cannot fly far on one wing," the Moldovan leader stressed.
He said this conclusion was prompted by the discussion of measures to get out of the current situation in relations with Russia he had had with government officials and members of the parliamentary majority.
According to Moldovan president, the anti-Russian policy of Moldova’s ruling pro-European coalition can be explained by the forthcoming parliamentary elections this year.
"The ruling Democratic Party wants to enroll support from the anti-Russian circles in the West that are interested in keeping the pro-European coalition in power in Moldova and hence are against the policy towards closer relations with Russia pursued by the president and the Party of Socialists, which supports him and which, according to opinion polls, may win the majority of seats in the parliament," he said. "As a generally elected president, I must come out with an initiative to restore relations between the two countries at all levels and spare no effort to make it happen."
In 2017, the Moldovan government imposed an entry ban on many Russian actors, singers, political scientists and journalists. Moreover, it expelled five Russian diplomats and declared Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is co-chairman of the Russian-Moldovan intergovernmental commission and the Russian president’s envoy for Transnistria, a persona non grata. The cabinet initiated a ban on broadcasting of news and analytical programs from the countries that have not ratified the European Convention on Transfrontier Television, including Russia. The Moldovan president condemned these steps.