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Moldova Warned Against Turning From Russia

24 November 2004 -- The new Russian ambassador to Moldova has warned Chisinau not to turn away from Russia in favor of better relations with the European Union.

Ambassador Nikolai Reabov said in his first news conference since arriving in Chisinau that Moscow has "an understanding attitude" toward the Moldovan government's attempt to forge closer ties with the EU.

But Reabov warned that "if relations with Russia are reduced," Moldova can lose its close ties with Russia and "be left only with a dream" of European integration.

Reabov also criticized Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin for stating that Russian peacekeeping troops stationed in the Russian-speaking separatist province of Transdniester are "inefficient."

Transdniester is not recognized internationally, but receives support from Russia and Ukraine.

Voronin suspended settlement talks with the rebel province in July.