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Moldova Disappointed At Lack Of Progress With EU

Moldovan President Voronin (epa) BRUSSELS, June 22, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Moldova's President Vladimir Voronin says his country is disappointed with the lack of progress in its ties with the European Union, but has no regrets about turning its back on Moscow.

Voronin, speaking in Brussels after meetings with EU officials, said Moldova had expected more from Brussels. Voronin said it is very important that the EU "does not reject Moldova's aspirations, but supports it and understands."

But Voronin said Moldova does not regret "anything we have undertaken on our path toward the European Union."

EU officials say Moldova is not a prospective member of the bloc. Instead, Moldova falls under a "Neighborhood Policy" formulated by the EU to develop ties with countries that have become neighbors since the bloc's eastward expansion in 2004.

Voronin said the prospect of neighboring Romania joining the EU means Moldovans would no longer be able to travel there without visas, and a bilateral free trade pact would end.

Voronin also discussed with NATO officials about Moldova's partnership plan with the alliance.

Voronin told RFE/RL that Moldova intends to remain neutral.

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