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Moldovan govt quits amid economic turmoil, tension with Russia

February 11, 2023 00:00:00

Prime Minister of Moldova Natalia Gavrilita

CHISINAU, Feb 10 (Reuters): Moldova's pro-Western government resigned on Friday after a turbulent 18 months in power marked by economic turmoil and the spillover effects of Russia's war in neighbouring Ukraine.

In the latest tensions with Moscow over the war, the government said shortly before Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita announced her resignation that a Russian missile had violated Moldovan airspace, and summoned Russia's ambassador to protest.

President Maia Sandu accepted Gavrilita's decision and said she would consult with parliamentary groups on nominating a new prime minister. She gave no sign of abandoning her pro-Western policies that include seeking European Union accession.

"Thank you so much for your enormous sacrifice and efforts to lead the country in a time of so many crises," Sandu wrote on Facebook.

"In spite of unprecedented challenges, the country was governed responsibly, with a lot of attention and dedicated work. We have stability, peace and development - where others wanted war and bankruptcy."

The former Soviet republic of 2.5 million has suffered from soaring inflation and was strained last year by an influx of Ukrainian refugees.

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