CHISINAU, April 3 (RIA Novosti) - Authorities in Moldova's autonomous region of Gagauzia are asking Russia to open a consulate office in its capital Comrat, head of the autonomous region Mikhail Formuzal said in a letter to Russian authorities.
"In accordance with the agreements reached at the meeting of the State Duma (Russia's lower chamber of parliament) and the government of Russia during the visit of a delegation of the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia to Moscow, we ask you to consider a possibility of establishing a Consulate of the Russian Federation in Comrat, the capital of Gagauzia", Formuzal said.
According to Formuzal, the move would give a new impetus to bilateral relationships in such areas like trade and education and also would be helpful for citizens not only of Gagauzia, but other southern regions of Moldova.
Earlier Moldovan region asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to simplify citizenship procedures for migrant workers. Formuzal underlined that Gagauz people can easily integrate into Russian society, because they know the Russian language and Russian culture.
On Wednesday US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that Washington remains concerned about political situation in Moldova.
"We are providing an addition $10 million in assistance to Moldova <...> So obviously, we are working very closely with the Moldovan Government on a range of issues and are concerned, of course, about Russian escalatory moves anywhere in the region", Harf said.
Gagauzia has a population of about 150,000, mostly ethnically Gagauz, Turkish-speaking Orthodox Christians. Gagauzia has three official languages: Romanian, Gagauz, and Russian. In February a referendum was held in Gagauzia in which an overwhelming majority called for Moldova to join a Russian-led Customs union rather than a political and trade pact with the EU. It also opted for the independence of Gagauzia if Moldova chooses to enter EU.