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Moldova Suddenly Recalls Envoy, Moscow Surprised

Moldova said on March 1 that it was recalling its ambassador to Moscwo Dumitru Braghis (pictured). Braghis served as Moldova's prime minister from 1999 to 2001.

Moldova's government has recalled its envoy to Moscow, without offering any explanation.

Prime Minister Pavel Filip's government on March 1 said it was recalling Ambassador Dumitru Braghis from Moscow. No further details were given.

Earlier this week, pro-Moscow leftist President Igor Dodon had rejected three government-proposed Moldovan envoys to Britain, Austria, and Belarus, apparently angering pro-European centrist Filip.

Russia on March 2 voiced surprise at Chisinau's decision, saying it had not been officially notified of the move.

"So far we have not received anything official from them [the Moldovan authorities], Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said on March 2.

"It was quite an unexpected announcement to us," Karasin said. "Appointing and recalling an ambassador is a state's sovereign right. But, naturally, we expect to receive some clarification in an unofficial way," he said.

Russia does not know at the moment who will replace Braghis, who was a respected diplomat, Karasin concluded.

With reporting by TASS