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Moldova Reassures Moscow Over EU Integration Plans

Moldovan Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Popov (file photo)

Moldovan Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Popov (file photo)

CHISINAU -- Moldovan Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Popov said the Russian Foreign Ministry was "understanding" of Chisinau's plan for European integration, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Popov met in Moscow on March 9 with his Russian counterpart, Grigory Karasin, to tell him that Moldova's drive toward integration with the European Union and its improved relations with Romania would not harm Russian interests in the region.

Popov told RFE/RL that in his talks he "insisted on the importance of Moldova's advance toward European integration, which is an absolute objective of our internal and external policy."

But he added that this objective "converges with our goal for a privileged partnership with Russia and cannot be interpreted as an anti-Russian policy."

Other top Moldovan officials are due to visit Moscow in the coming weeks and months for the first time since the four-party Alliance for European Integration defeated the Communist Party in last summer's repeat elections.

Moldovan Foreign Minister Iurie Leanca is scheduled to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on March 26 on the sidelines of the CIS Ministerial Council.

Parliament speaker Mihai Ghimpu, who is also the acting president, plans to attend the informal CIS summit in Moscow on May 9.