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Russia, Moldova's opposition denounce Romanian PM's remarks

24/5/2024 12:15
        Russia joined Moldova's leftist opposition on Thursday in denouncing Romania's prime minister for remarks saying ex-Soviet Moldova's population was made up strictly of Romanians who spoke Romanian.
        
        Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu told a Romanian television interviewer this week: "There are no Moldovans, there is no Moldovan language. There are Romanians and the Romanian language."
        
        Moldova, lying between Ukraine and EU member Romania, has at various times over the past 150 years been a part of the Russian empire, the Soviet Union and "Greater Romania".
        
        Though its population includes ethnic Russians, Ukrainians and other groups and Russian is widely spoken, Romanian is the sole state language.
        
        Parliament last year proclaimed the language to be Romanian rather than Moldovan, as it was known in Soviet times and for much of the period since independence from Soviet rule in 1991.
        
        Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, who regularly accuses Moldova's pro-European president Maia Sandu of encouraging Russophobia, denounced both Ciolacu's comments and the failure of Moldova's authorities to criticise them.
        



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