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EU Warns Moldova To Honor Trade Pact As President Looks To Russia

Moldovan President Igor Dodon (center) has touted the Eurasian Economic Union as an alternative to the EU. (file photo)

The European Union warned Moldova on April 19 to honor its trade accord with the bloc in the face of President Igor Dodon's turn toward Russia.

Earlier in April, Moldova signed a cooperation agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), where it now has observer status.

The bloc -- which is composed of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan -- has been touted by the pro-Russia Dodon as an alternative to the 28-nation EU.

EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy spokeswoman Nabila Massrali said on April 19 that it is "first and foremost up to the Moldovan authorities to define the relations" between Moldova and the Russia-led EAEU.

But Massrali said the EU expects that Moldova, "like all countries which have undertaken legal commitments with the EU, will fully comply with its obligations" under its EU Association Agreement and its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area arrangements.

Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip has harshly criticized the signing of the EAEU cooperation memorandum, saying that it is aimed at undermining his government's efforts to forge closer ties with the EU.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has tried to use the EAEU to bolster Moscow's influence in the former Soviet Union and counter the EU and NATO.

About half of Moldova’s trade is with the EU.

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