13:30 Dec. 24, 2016
‘We will build bridges to the East and to the West', Igor Dodon said during inauguration
New President of Moldova vowed to unite the divided country and keep it neutral between the West and Russia, Igor Dodon said during the inaugural ceremony in the capital, Chisinau on December 23, according to RFE/RL.
While he was being sworn in, Dodon addressed the crowd that had gathered outside the Palace of the Republic, vowing to serve his time in the office as President of all Moldovans.
Dodon declared restoring the country's territorial integrity to be his main goal, aiming to reunite with Transnistria, a self-proclaimed republic, landlocked between the rest of Moldova and Ukraine.
‘A union of both banks of the Dniester River is a primary objective of my tenure', Dodon said.
During the electoral campaign, Dodon had repeatedly said he was aiming to restore ties with Russia, which is considered to be in control of the unrecognized territory, keeping a number of troops in the so called republic.
Analysts draw parallels between Ukraine and Moldova, with Russia trying to keep both states in check through the influence it has on the so called leaderships of Donbas and Transnistria.
Moscow's goal is said to be the neutrality of both nations and guarantees they will not become NATO members.
‘Neutrality is a something sacred, which no one can take away from us. We will build bridges to the East and to the West', Dodon declared in his speech.
He assured the state would remain neutral, announcing his visit to Moscow next month, followed by a travel to Brussels shortly afterwards.