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Pro-Russian Party Excluded From Moldova Parliamentary Vote

Moldova's elections authorities have removed a pro-Russian party from parliamentary elections.

The Central Elections Commission said it decided on November 26 to withdraw the Patria (Homeland) party from the polls because it had received financial support from a foreign country.

Patria is led by Renato Usatii, a Russian businessman of Moldovan origin.

The Appeals Court will rule this week whether to uphold the decision.

Parliamentary elections in Moldova are scheduled for November 30.

Moldova, a former Soviet republic bordering Ukraine, where government forces have been battling with pro-Russian separatists since April, is courted by both the European Union and Russia.

Moldova signed an Association Agreement strengthening ties with the EU in June. The deal was ratified by the European Parliament on November 13.

Russia has been irritated by such agreements between the EU and former Soviet republics, arguing that these deals could harm its economic interests.

Based on reporting by and Interfax