Saturday, April 25, 2009

Dispute between Romania and Moldova worsens

BUCHAREST, Romania – Moldova has rejected a new ambassador proposed by Romania, an official said Friday, in another sign of deteriorating relations between the neighboring countries.

Earlier this month, Moldova accused Romania of supporting violent anti-communist demonstrations by thousands of people who stormed Moldova's Parliament and presidential offices to protest an election that had returned the Communist Party to power.

Romania rejected the accusation, but Moldova expelled Romania's ambassador.

Moldova asked Romania to nominate another ambassador for the post, but then rejected, without any explanation, its proposed replacement, respected senior diplomat Mihnea Constantinescu, a statement from Romania's Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Moldova's government declined to discuss the dispute over the new diplomat.

A Romanian government official told The Associated Press on Friday that Moldova's decision would effectively end normal communication between the two nations. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with government regulations.

Romania is a member of the European Union, but Moldova is not. The bloc's 27 foreign ministers are scheduled to meet with officials from Moldova on Monday in Luxembourg to discuss the political crisis in Moldova, which is seeking gradual rapprochement with the EU. But the Romanian government source said Bucharest plans to ask the bloc to suspend the talks between the EU and Moldova in reaction to Moldova's rejection of the proposed ambassador.

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