"The West… was glad that [the Moldovan government] called itself the pro-European one. The West turned a blind eye to everything that was happening here — both European and budget funds were stolen… By calling itself pro-European, the government was blackmailing the West: if you do not turn a blind eye, if you discontinue to support us financially, geopolitically, then the Russians will come here," Dodon told the Italian TV and radio company Rai.
The Moldovan president noted that despite the large financial support that the country had been receiving during the past eight years and the signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union, the trust of Moldova's nationals in the European Union was deteriorating.
"People saw that these corrupt politicians were stealing money under the cover of the EU flag. People began wondering why they needed to follow the European vector if Europe supported all this. And they began to turn in the opposite direction," Dodon said.
During his election campaign in 2016, Dodon repeatedly voiced the need to restore Moldova's strategic partnership with Moscow by returning Moldovan goods to the Russian market and normalizing bilateral cooperation in energy sector. The president's views are at odds with Moldova's pro-EU government led by Prime Minister Pavel Filip.