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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Moldova's Leader Wins Support From Moscow

Russia on Monday threw its weight behind Moldova's outgoing President Vladimir Voronin, who will oversee an early parliamentary election next month, and said it could lend $500 million to the country.

Voronin, who has been in office since 2001 and who cannot run for a third term, dissolved the parliament last week and called an early election for July 29 after deputies twice failed to elect a new president, lacking just one vote to approve his candidate.

His Communists finished far ahead in an April parliamentary election, but the outcome sparked violent protests.

"Of course, I would like to tell you that we supported and support the measures taken by Moldova's leadership to restore constitutional order," President Dmitry Medvedev told Voronin during a meeting in the Kremlin.

"These are difficult times now, very difficult from the economic point of view," he said. "We should give it some thought and decide what else needs to be undertaken to develop trade and economic ties at a time of crisis."

Voronin accused his opponents of launching a coup d'etat and accused Romania, which has strong cultural and historic links with Moldova, of fomenting the violence.

"I am very grateful that in these hard days of political uncertainty and attempts to destabilize our country … Russia was the first and probably the only country that advocated Moldova's lawfully elected authorities," Voronin told Medvedev.

Russia watched with unease as pro-Western leaders were propelled to power in Ukraine and Georgia after demonstrations that Moscow said were sponsored by the West.

"We should call a spade a spade. … They aimed to carry out a 'colored revolution' in our country, but I believe our coordinated actions and your unambiguous position should discourage the organizers from any such plans," Voronin said. "This had nothing to do with a people's revolution. This was an organized group of hirelings who … attempted to carry out this coup d'etat."

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said last week that Moldova's authorities had failed to address opposition allegations of vote rigging and that it had credible reports about mistreatment of detainees after the protests.

In another gesture of Moscow's support for Voronin, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin promised sizeable financial assistance. "We are considering your request to extend to Moldova a state credit of $500 million. We consider this possible," Putin said at a meeting with Voronin later Monday.

Putin said the first tranche worth $150 million could be disbursed within six to eight weeks. He gave no further detail or conditions of the loan.