Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed on Tuesday his gratitude toward his Moldovan counterpart Igor Dodon for the latter's efforts to boost relations between the two countries.
"We highly value your efforts in normalizing Russia-Moldova relations, we see that the process is going forward with difficulty," Putin said, noting that the outcome of these efforts would be positive.
Dodon, elected Moldovan president in 2016, has been a strong proponent of boosting relations with Russia and suspending Moldova's integration into the European Union. During his tenure, the Moldovan leader, though often opposed by the country's judicial and legislative bodies, has taken several prominent steps to reinforce Russia-Moldova partnership in numerous fields.
Contrary to the efforts of the president, the Moldovan cabinet and parliament adopted a series of anti-Russian measures, including the decision to declare several Russian diplomats and cultural figures personae non-gratae, which has strained Moscow-Chisinau relations. The moves by the national parliament and government have been repeatedly criticized by Dodon.
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