Thousands mass for pro-EU rally in Moldovan capital, amid tensions with Russia

A huge pro-EU rally has taken place in Moldova’s capital Chisinau, organised by the country’s President Maia Sandu.

An estimated 75,000 people turned out to support Ms Sandu’s well-publicised bid for Moldova to gain EU membership.

Her pro-Western government previously accused Russia of stoking tensions by supporting Moldova’s pro-Russian opposition Sor party. Moscow denies meddling in the country’s affairs.

Ms Sandu told demonstrators her country no longer wanted to be an outlier.

“We don’t want to be on the outskirts of Europe anymore,” she said, pledging that Moldova would become a European Union member nation by 2030.

Moldova also “does not want to be blackmailed by the Kremlin,” she told the rally, where crowds waved EU flags and chanted pro-European slogans.

In February, Ms Sandu accused Russia of plotting to use foreign “saboteurs” to overthrow her government, saying the plot would involve “protests by the so-called opposition”, aiming to “overthrow the constitutional…

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