The president of Moldova has rejected a proposal by Russia to open a consulate in the separatist territory of Transdniester.
Nicolae Timofti turned down the plan to build a Russian consulate in Tiraspol after Kremlin officials criticized Moldova's decision to join a European energy pact aimed at scaling back the dominance of the Russian gas giant Gazprom in the EU and its eastern neighbor states.
Timofti also said he would not approve a Russian consulate until Russia withdraws its troops from Transdniester.
Moscow has maintained a force of 1,200 troops in the unrecognized Russian-speaking region since Transdniester broke with the central Moldovan government following a brief war in 1992.
Based on reporting by Reuters and ITAR-TASS