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New Moldovan Government Wants Treaty With Romania

Moldova's new prime minister, Vlad Filat, speaking to parliament today.
CHISINAU -- Moldova's new pro-Western government said today it wants to sign a political treaty with neighboring Romania, RFE/RL's Moldovan Service reports.

The new government, which was sworn into office today, could be setting the scene for renewed diplomatic tension with Romania after an initial thaw in bilateral ties.

Romania has previously refused to sign a political treaty with its post-Soviet neighbor, fearing it would amount to a confirmation of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which gave the Soviet Union Romania's eastern province of Bessarabia, which covers most of what is now Moldova.

Various postcommunist Romanian governments have offered instead to sign a "declaration of European integration," but that idea was rejected repeatedly by Moldova during the eight years of its pro-Russian, Communist Party-rule, which ended after elections on July 29.

Romania has not yet commented on the call from the new Moldovan government to sign such a treaty.

Ties between the two countries, which share a common language and history, warmed up instantly after the opposition's win in the elections, with Moldova abolishing visa requirements for Romanians and Bucharest offering to be Moldova's "advocate" for integration into the European Union.