Moldova has recalled its envoy to Russia for consultations, the country's Foreign Ministry said on December 18.
"Because of a recent increase of cases of harassment and intimidation of Moldovan officials and politicians by Russian authorities and a lack of official reaction to the repeated complaints of Moldovan authorities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration has decided to recall Ambassador Andrei Neguta for an indefinite period," the ministry said in a statement.
Moldova's pro-Western government and Russia have been embroiled in a number of rows this year.
Prime Minister Pavel Filip and parliament speaker Andrian Candu summoned the Russian ambassador to Chisinau in March to protest against what they said was abusive action by unnamed Russian intelligence services against Moldovan officials.
In May, five Russian diplomats were declared personae non grata by Moldova.
The government in Chisinau says its officials are being mistreated partly to derail a probe into a Russian-led money laundering operation.
Moldova's pro-Moscow President Igor Dodon has condemned the government's decision. "I see this as yet another provocation by our pro-European government, aimed at undermining the strategic partnership between our countries," Dodon wrote on his Facebook page.
Dodon said the "hostile action" of Filip's government was intended to derail his upcoming visit to Russia. "If the purpose of this provocation is to disrupt my visit to Russia, it will have no effect: I will not change my plans and make a visit to Russia anyway," Dodon wrote in Russian in his Facebook post.
Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the foreign affairs committee at the Russian parliament's upper house, said the Moldovan government's move was regrettable.
"This decision causes me deep regret and disappointment. It is unexpected and -- even more important -- illogical," Kosachev said.
With additional reporting by the Moldovan Service's Mircea Ticudean, Reuters, TASS, Interfax, and Moldpress