PARIS (Sputnik) – During his election campaign, Dodon pledged to restore "friendly relations" with Russia and even to take the country into the Eurasian Economic Union that comprises Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. In response to electorate's waning enthusiasm for the EU, he also promised to revoke Moldova's association agreement with the EU signed in mid-2014, though lately he seemed less committed to that pledge.
"We must preserve our good relations with Europe, but we must restore our strategic cooperation with the Russian Federation," Dodon said.
Crimea Recognition Issue
Earlier in the day, Moldova's Central Elections Commission said that Dodon secured 52.12 percent of votes in the second round of presidential election.
"I think in making this decision we proceed from the assumption that we have issues with Transnistria. Therefore, it is necessary to deal with this issue very carefully and to not take any serious steps so that we do not lose Transnistria. But I have already said that de facto a Russian territory, de jure it has not been recognized [as such] by the West."
In October, Dodon had also said that Crimea is de-facto Russia's region.
Russia's historical southern region of Crimea rejoined the country after a 2014 referendum. Almost 97 percent of the region's population voted for reunification in the referendum. Sevastopol, which has a federal city status, supported the move by 95.6 percent of votes. Ukraine, as well as the European Union, the United States and their allies, did not recognize the move and consider the peninsula to be an occupied territory.