Moldova’s pro-EU president to seek second term

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Moldovan President Maia Sandu on Sunday said she would seek a second term next year as she looks to steer the former Soviet republic to EU membership.

European Union leaders agreed earlier this month to open formal membership negotiations with Moldova and neighboring Ukraine.

Sandu has said this opened a “new page” for the country of 2.6 million people that borders Ukraine and EU member Romania.

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“We still have important steps to take and I promise to continue if you give me your confidence for a new term in 2024,” she said in a post on Facebook.

She also asked parliament to “initiate the organization of a referendum (on EU membership) next autumn, in which the voice of the citizens would be decisive.”

Sandu, a 51-year-old former World Bank economist, is leading polls for the presidential vote to be held by late next year.

A poll earlier this month put her support at some 30 percent, ahead of Russia-friendly ex-president Igor Dodon at 24 percent.

Sandu defeated Dodon at the end of 2020 to become president.

Moldova’s current pro-EU government has condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and alleged that Moscow was behind a plot to try and overthrow it.

Read more:

Kremlin: Ukrainian and Moldovan EU entry could destabilize bloc

EU leaders advance Ukraine membership talks despite Hungary’s objection

Russia bars entry to Moldovan officials, summons ambassador amid media dispute

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