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Igor Dodon starts his three days visit to Russia by meeting Deputy PM Dmitry Rogozin

The President of Moldova, Igor Dodon, is visiting Russia between 16 and 18 of January, making his first official visit abroad.

On the very first day of his visit, Dodon met the deputy Prime-Minister of Russia Dmitry Rogozin to plan the negotiations and visits for the second day.

President Dodon will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, the president of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko, the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the president of the Euroasian Economic Commission Tigran Sarkisyan and with the Russian Patriarch Kyryl. Dodon also plans to have informal meetings with his good friends: president of the Gazprom administration council Aleksey Miller, former Economy Minister and head of Sberbank administration council German Gref, and the former chess champion Anatoli Karpov.

Moreover, the Moldovan President will reportedly meet students and professors at the State Institute for International Relations from Moscow, but also the Moldovans working in Russia.

Dodon chose his former fellow Socialists in his team for the meetings and negotiations: former PM and now MP Zinaida Greceanîi; Gagauzia leader Irina Vlah; former Ambassador to Russia, now MP and foreign policy counselor Andrei Neguța; former Reintegration Minister Vasile Șova; and the spokesperson and political counselor Ion Ceban. The delegation is accompanied by the former PM and current Ambassador to Russia, His Excellency Dumitru Braghiș.

Unfortunately or not, Dodon did not include any of the Government Ministers, not even the Economy Minister Octavian Calmâc, in his delegation, although he promised to negotiate issues of economic cooperation.

Dodon and his delegation

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy. Inquiries at [email protected]

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Politics

Reghina Apostolova eliminated from the Chișinău mayoral race due to suspected Russian funding

11 May 2018- Judges of the Chișinău Court canceled the registration of the candidate of Shor Party, Reghina Apostolova, in the elections for the seat of Chișinău mayor. Apostolova’s lawyers declared their intention to appeal the decision.

A day before, the Chișinău Electoral Commission decided that a court must decide upon the complaint of the National Unity Party (PUN) about the exclusion of Apostolova from the mayoral race. PUN previously presented documents that show the foreign origin of the funds coming to Apostolova’s campaign. Accordingly, the joint Moldo-Russian company Air Klassika Grup transferred 200 thousand lei (about 10 thousand euros) to the Moldova-based Air Klassika SRL, which subsequently transferred the money to the campaign account of Shor Party’s candidate.

Moldova’s electoral law prohibits the financing of political parties and electoral campaigns from funds with foreign origin.

The Chișinău mayoral elections will take place on 20 May 2018.

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Politics

Democrat VP Cristina Balan nominated as Moldova Ambassador to the US

8 May 2018- The leader of the Democratic Party of Moldova, Vlad Plahotniuc, announced during his weekly briefing about the nomination of Cristina Balan in the position of Moldovan Ambassador to the United States of America.

Balan’s nomination was consulted with the Parliament’s Committee for Foreign Affairs and European Integration on the same day. Now, Balan has to be confirmed by the Government and then entrusted by the President of Moldova.Cristina Balan, nominalizată pentru ocuparea funcÅ£iei de ambasador al Republicii Moldova în SUA. CV-ul Cristinei Balan

Cristina Balan is the Vice-President of the Democratic Party, being in charge of the party’s foreign affairs. Balan is also an active member of the Socialist International, being part of the Committee for Budget and Finances. In 2017, she received the prize of the “Women of the Year in Politics”. According to her CV, Balan has worked in private companies for more than 15 years. She is also the president of the Foundation for Modern Democracy.

Foreign policy expert and PAS Vice-President, Mihai Popșoi, has criticized the nomination of Balan, suggesting her Ambassadorship will serve the interests of her former boss, Vlad Plahotniuc:

“The mission of Mrs. Balan at Washington will rather one of coordinating the lobby efforts of her party leader because PDM’s PR budget in the US is way bigger than that the budget of the Embassy. The decision to nominate a person without the necessary training, though from the closest circle of the coordinator, denotes the lack of human resources within PD, but also the lack of trust towards our diplomatic corps”, posted Popșoi, mentioning that Balan participated the privatization of the Codru hotel.

Former Moldova Representative at the UN, Vlad Lupan, believes that the approval of Balan by President Dodon would confirm the division of powers between the Socialist and the Democrat parties:

“It would be interesting to learn what President Dodon got in exchange for the nomination of Mrs. Balan and Mr. Ciocoi in the control position of importance for Mr. Plahotniuc. This kind of “distribution” and the agreements with Dodon contradicts the narrative that PD is pro-Western”, says Lupan, mentioning the recent appointing of former Ambassador to US Aurel Ciocoi in the position of Dodon’s foreign policy adviser.

Not denying that Balan might have negotiation experience in the business sphere, former Ambassador to the UN suggests that the business skills and the diplomacy school skills do not always match.

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Gagauzia

MP leaves Democratic Party, Moldova Parliament for “New Gagauzia” group

27 April 2018- The Member of the Moldovan Parliament, Nikolay Dudoglo, announced about his withdrawal from the Democratic Party (PDM) and the withdrawal of his MP mandate.

Dudoglo was reportedly asked by the Democratic leadership to choose between his membership in the party and his participation in a new regional political movement “Eni Gagauzia” (New Gagauzia). In a press release of the organization, the Gagauz MP and former Comrat mayor stated that he chose to lead New Gagauzia because “it is time to make Gagauzia a strong region”.

Dudoglo confessed that despite having a fruitful work with PDM members, he abstained from voting for projects that did not coincide with his vision on Gagauzia. His recent activity within New Gagauzia posed a problem for the Democrats:

“The leadership of PDM believes that some of my actions, that I undertook from Gagauzia’s perspective, violate the principles of the party and the European vector of the development of the State”, said the MP.

Dudoglo underlined that he would remain politically active as a “leader” of his people:

“I stay with the conviction that we need to act the way our people want. I am sure that I can fulfill serious tasks, which are put before us by life, being an independent leader of my people (literal meaning nation– Moldova.org)“, concluded Dudoglo, expressing his hope for understanding and support.

New Gagauzia reportedly joined the Democratic Party of Moldova in 2012.

Gagauzia was established in 1994 as an autonomy for around 150 000 Gagauz (Turkish origin) people in the south of the Republic of Moldova. Gagauzia’s leadership is composed of the directly elected bashkan, now Irina Vlah, and the People’s Assembly.

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