The government of Moldova has criticized Russia's ambassador for attending the inauguration ceremony of the de facto president of the breakaway Moldovan region of Transdniester.
"The so-called presidential election in the Transdniester region is illegitimate and runs counter to the constitutional foundations of Moldova," the Foreign Affairs and European Integration Ministry said in a December 18 statement.
"The participation of the head of Russia's diplomatic mission in these activities is regarded by the Foreign Affairs and European Integration Ministry as an unfriendly action," the statement added.
Russian Ambassador Oleg Vasnetsov attended the December 17 swearing-in ceremony of Vadim Krasnoselsky as the de facto head of the unrecognized region. Krasnoselsky was proclaimed the winner of the unauthorized election held on December 12.
Earlier, the chairman of Moldova's presidential pardons commission, Ion Guzun, wrote on Facebook that Vasnetsov should be declared persona non grata for attending the ceremony.
Transdniester gained de facto independence following a brief war in 1992. Russia maintains a military presence in the region despite the Moldovan government's repeated calls for Russian troops to be replaced by international peacekeepers.