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Moldova's pro-Russian prime minister resigns after protests
Associated Press
December 23, 2020 — 5:40am

CHISINAU, Moldova — Moldova's pro-Russian prime minister has resigned to, as he put it, pave the way for an early parliamentary election and "bring normalcy" to the tiny former Soviet state.

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Rothschild Company Abandons Bid to Run Moldova Airport
Madalin Necsutu
December 23, 2019 13:34

After less than six months, a company owned by British billionaire Nat Rothschild has pulled out of the management of Chisinau International Airport, following months of disputes.

NR Investments Ltd, a company owned by British billionaire Nat Rothschild, on Sunday said that it was pulling out of its troubled investment in the main airport in Moldova following months of disputes.

The company said it was giving up 95.95 per cent of Avia Invest, the company that run Chisinau International Airport.

"NR Investments Limited confirms that today it has disposed of its interest in Komaksavia Airport Invest Ltd and no longer holds an indirect interest in Avia Invest S.R.L.," the company said in a press release cited by the media on Sunday.

It did not mention the buyer. But Moldovan media wrote that the likely new owner was Russian oligarch Andrey Goncharenko, CEO of a Gazprom subsidiary and owner of four central London estates, including Hanover Lodge, the most expensive house in the United Kingdom, bought for 120 million pounds.

Prime Minister Ion Chicu, who led a pro-Russian government since November 2019, tendered his resignation Wednesday, a day before the country's newly elected pro-Western president, Maia Sandu, is due to take office.

Chicu is a close ally of outgoing pro-Russian President Igor Dodon. His government controlled only 51 of 101 seats in the Moldovan parliament.

The new president can dissolve parliament if the prime minister resigns and there are two failed attempts to find a successor.

Chicu, who announced his resignation after a meeting with Dodon, said an early parliamentary election was the "priority objective in order to bring normalcy to Moldova."

Moldova's presidential election in November was seen as a referendum on two divergent visions for the future of the Eastern European nation of 3.5 million people that is sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania.

Sandu, a former World Bank economist who favors closer ties with the European Union, and Dodon, who Russian President Vladimir Putin identified as his preferred candidate, have been rivals since he narrowly defeated her in the 2016 presidential race. Sandu's decisive victory over Dodon in November was widely seen as a signal that Moldova was tilting toward closer cooperation with the European Union.

Since presidential election, thousands have attended protests demanding the resignation of Chicu's government. However, Dodon insisted Wednesday that Chicu was not resigning because he succumbed to public pressure.

"This was a decision taken at the right time and not under the pressure of protests," Dodon said.

Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe with nearly 1.2 million of its people estimated to be living abroad. It relies heavily on remittances, and closer ties with the EU are generally seen as more likely than those with Moscow to lead to a long-elusive political stability.

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Moldova election: Pro-EU candidate Maia Sandu wins presidency
16 November

Opposition candidate Maia Sandu has won Moldova's presidential election after a run-off vote against the incumbent Igor Dodon, preliminary results show.

With almost all the ballots counted, Ms Sandu has won 57.7% of the vote compared to Mr Dodon's 42.2%.

Ms Sandu, 48, is a former World Bank economist who favours closer ties with the European Union. Mr Dodon, meanwhile, is openly backed by Russia.

Final results are expected to be announced within five days.

Last Edit by Gladstone