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Moldovan Parliament Speaker Denies Plan To Unite With Romania

Mihai Ghimpu

Mihai Ghimpu

CHISINAU -- New Moldovan parliament speaker Mihai Ghimpu says that he will not press for union with Romania even though he personally believes Moldova and Romania should be one country, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

Ghimpu, who leads the pro-Romanian Liberal Party, told Moldova's Jurnal TV over the weekend that if the Liberal Party and the other three pro-Western parties that won a majority in the July 29 parliamentary elections form a new government they will seek primarily to bring Moldova closer to the European Union and convince Russia to withdraw its troops from Moldova's separatist Transdniester region.

He also told Russia's Ekho Moskvy radio that despite media reports to the contrary, he is not a "Russophobe."

Most of what is now Moldova was part of Romania until World War II.

A majority of Moldovans speak Romanian, although some prefer to call it "Moldovan," and hundreds of thousands have applied for Romanian citizenship.