Moldovans go to polls, face choice between moving closer to Europe, returning to Russian orbit

Moldovans have begun voting in elections where they are choosing between parties that want to move closer to Europe and those that want to move back into Russia’s orbit.

Sunday’s parliamentary election takes on wider significance with the unrest in neighboring Ukraine. Moldova, like Ukraine, has a pro-Russia separatist region in its east.

The impoverished former Soviet republic of less than 4 million is torn between re-electing the current pro-European coalition or choosing parties that want closer economic ties with Moscow.

Russia placed an embargo on Moldovan fruit after the country signed a trade association agreement with the European Union in June.

The Supreme Court on Saturday rejected an appeal for a pro-Russia party to run in Sunday’s election on the grounds that it illegally received foreign funding.

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