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Tusk Promises Moldova Closer Cooperation, Calls For Reforms

CHISINAU -- The visiting EU Council president has promised Moldova closer cooperation with the EU while urging Chisinau to reform its justice system and banking sector while fighting corruption.

Donald Tusk called Moldova, which neighbors Ukraine and Romania, "a key...partner of the European Union."

Moldova signed an EU Association Agreement in June 2014, angering Russia, which responded by placing an embargo on some Moldovan fruits and vegetables.

"Right now Moldova is facing hardship both for domestic reasons and for reasons of regional instability and uncertainty," Tusk told reporters on April 28 in the Moldovan capital.

Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti said "Moldova intends to follow its agreements with the EU."

Moldovan officials have recently investigated the disappearance of some $1.5 billion that vanished from state-owned and private banks before November's parliamentary elections.

And the country's currency has lost 20 percent value this year, worsening economic conditions.

With reporting by AP