What Happened: Moldovan President Igor Dodon met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, where both leaders signed a number of political and economic agreements, Tass reported Oct. 31. Dodon further stated that NATO should not be present in Moldova and that the Moldovan Orthodox Church would remain a part of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Why It Matters: Dodon's visit to Russia comes just a few months before Moldova's parliamentary elections in February 2019, when Dodon's pro-Russian Socialist Party could consolidate power, allowing him to establish closer ties with Russia. Dodon's statements show that he is willing to support Moscow on key issues such as the split between the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox churches and NATO expansion.
Background: Moldova will hold parliamentary elections on Feb. 24, 2019. At present, the ruling Socialist Party has a wide lead in polls, reflecting a split between pro-Russian and pro-European parties.
- Moldova's Elections Could Shift the Country's Focus East (Oct. 18, 2018)
- Moldova: Parliament Appoints New Defense Minister, After Suspending the President (Oct. 24, 2017)
- The Front Line Drawn Across Russia's Backyard (Aug. 8, 2017)