Moldova's president has said he will sign a cooperation memorandum with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union at a conference in Chisinau on April 3-4.
President Igor Dodon added on March 28 that he will apply for observer status in the union in May.
"The memorandum will be signed," Dodon, a socialist who advocates closer relations with Moscow, said. "Whether the government wants it or not, what matters to me is that our people want it. I promised this during the election campaign: to restore strategic partnership with the Russian Federation."
Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip, who heads a coalition government of pro-European Union parties, called Dodon's announcement "a thoughtless step" that would "not yield tangible economic or political profit for our country."
Writing on the government's Facebook page, Filip added that the move could "undermine an already fragile public and political stability in our country."
The Eurasian Economic Union comprises Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.
Dodon, speaking at a press conference to mark the first 100 days of his presidency, also decried the "Romanization" of Moldova, saying that "our children are being taught myths and the imperial ideology of a neighboring state [Romania]."
He added that the time has come "for the president to stand up in defense of Moldovanism, to defend the Moldovan identity, and strengthen the state."
With reporting by Interfax, Unimedia, and Focus News