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Moldovan Parliament Ratifies Key EU Accord

Moldova's parliament has ratified the country's Association Agreement with the European Union.

The vote was 59 to four.

Under Moldova's laws, a simple majority of votes -- 51 out of 101 -- was needed to ratify the agreement on closer economic and political ties with the EU, which was signed by Prime Minister Iurie Leanca in Brussels on June 27.

President Nicolae Timofti told parliament on July 2 that a "definite prospect of EU membership should be the next keynote step of Moldova," adding that "we are determined to advance toward Europe because the people of Moldova deserve to live in a fashion other European people do."

Lawmakers with the ruling Pro-European Coalition, who has the majority of seats in the parliament, supported the association accord.

Thirty-eight opposition deputies from the Party of Communists and Vozrozhdenie (Revival) party left the parliament in protest.

In Moscow, Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin warned that Moldova's association with the EU is not economically feasible, saying it “contravenes the natural logic of life.”

He added, "700,000 Moldavians work as labor migrants here in Russia, which yields huge revenues for Moldova's budget."

He also said that the agreement violates the fundamental rights to life and economic welfare of the people of Moldova’s breakaway region of Transdniester.

Rogozin was speaking after meeting with a delegation from Transdniester.

With reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS
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