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Moldovan President Slams EU's Eastern Partnership Plan

Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin
CHISINAU, February 27, 2009 (RFE/RL) -- In an interview with a Russian newspaper on February 27, Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin rejected the country's participation in the European Union's proposed Eastern Partnership program and said Moldova wants to become a full-fledged EU member.

The EU's plan -- which offers economic advantages in exchange for reforms -- received its sharpest criticism to date from Voronin, who called it a plot to "surround Russia" and to create "a new Commonwealth of Independent States."

He told the Russian daily "Kommersant" that Moldova is more advanced in its European integration than three of the program's other full members, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Ukraine is also a partnership member.

Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe and is the only one with a ruling Communist Party.