Pro-Western Moldovan President celebrates 30 years of independence from Soviet rule
The pro-Western Moldovan president led the country to celebrate three decades of independence from the Soviet regime, promising to “build a prosperous and free Moldova”.
Moldova is the poorest state in Europe and has struggled with widespread corruption and a mass exodus of workers since gaining independence from the Soviet Union on August 27, 1991.
“The main objective now is to bring home Moldovan citizens who have been forced to leave in search of a better life,” Sandu said at a ceremony in the capital Chisinau.
About 1 million of the 3.5 million Moldovans live abroad, mainly in the European Union.
Sandu, a Harvard-trained economist, has vowed to fight corruption, boost the economy and chart a pro-European path.
She defeated her Moscow-backed predecessor Igor Dodon in a presidential election in November and called a snap election in July to consolidate power in parliament and pursue a reformist agenda.
The 49-year-old told RFE / RL earlier this month that Moldova wanted its relations with Russia to be based on pragmatism, but called for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the breakaway region of Transnistria.
Some 1,400 Russian troops are still stationed in Transnistria, which declared independence from Moldova in 1990, allegedly to protect Soviet-era arms depots.
The anniversary event brought together his presidential counterparts from the region, the Romanian Klaus Iohannis, the Polish Andrzej Duda and the Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Iohannis said he supports Moldova’s “process of reform and European integration”.
Based on AP and dpa reports