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Moldovan President In Brussels For Talks With EU, NATO


Moldova's President Igor Dodon is due to hold talks with EU and NATO leaders in Brussels on February 7.

He is expected to meet with European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, and EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini.

He also scheduled a meeting with NATO Deputy Secretary-General Rose Gottemoeller.

Dodon has said he hopes to cancel his country's 2014 Association Agreement with the EU.

He has also said he opposes an agreement signed in December with NATO to open a NATO liaison office in Chisinau, and that he will work to "restore friendly relations and a strategic partnership with Russia."

Dodon said last month that Moldova had not benefited "in the slightest" from the Association Agreement and its European-integration policies, and that a majority of Moldovans now supported integration into the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

However, Moldovan exports to the 28-member bloc grew by 21 percent between 2013 and 2015, according to the European Commission.

Dodon said he would work to secure observer status for Moldova in the EEU, which currently includes five former Soviet republics, a topic that he discussed during a recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Dodon won the presidency after running a strongly pro-Russian campaign, and took office in December. Previously, he was the leader of the Socialist Party, which controls the single largest faction in Moldova's parliament.

The Moldovan presidency is largely a symbolic position, and the government is controlled by a coalition of pro-European integration parties.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Moldovan Service, AP, AFP, and Interfax
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