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Moldova Expels Five Russian Diplomats

Moldovan President Igor Dodon

Russia's ambassador in Chisinau says five members of Russia's embassy in Moldova have been expelled by authorities.

Farit Mukhametshin said the five Russian diplomats were declared persona non grata and ordered to leave the country in 24 hours. No details were given.

Moldova’s pro-Russian President Igor Dodon condemned the move by the country's pro-Western government.

"The government has taken an outrageous act toward the Russian Embassy," he wrote on Facebook on May 29.

The government has expressed desires to join the EU and NATO. Dodon has opposed membership and is looking to move closer to Moscow.

The breakaway Moldovan region of Transdniester has long been a source of tension between Chisinau and Moscow.

Moscow-backed Transdniester declared independence from Moldova in 1990. The two sides fought a brief war in 1992 that ended when the Russian military intervened on the side of Transdniester.

Transdniester's independence is not recognized by any country.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and TASS