Both Moldova and Bulgaria’s new presidents want closer relations with Moscow
Moldova’s first direct presidential election has resulted in a convincing victory for the leader of the Party of Socialists, Igor Dodon, widely seen as a pro-Russian candidate. He has served as a member of Parliament and worked as a deputy Prime Minister. He has more than once called for improving relations between Moldova and Russia and has connections to the Russian political elite. In an interview with the TASS news agency, Dodon announced that, if elected president, his first foreign visit would be to Russia to discuss issues of friendship, cooperation and settling the Transnistria conflict. In October this year, Dodon said that, if he came to power, he would hold a referendum on canceling Moldova’s agreement on association with the EU, which – according to him – had been adopted in haste. In the meantime, victory in the presidential election in another East European country went to a candidate from the Bulgarian Socialist Party, Rumen Radev, a former Air Force general, who – like Dodon – said it was necessary to improve relations with Russia and to lift sanctions.