Kremlin disappointed with Moldova for asking Moscow to cut embassy staff in Chisinau

Kremlin disappointed with Moldova for asking Moscow to cut embassy staff in Chisinau

'Russophobia is being strongly encouraged now in Moldova,' spokesman Dmitry Peskov Peskov responds to decision, saying such steps to be reciprocated diplomatically

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – Kremlin expressed disappointment on Wednesday over Moldova's decision to ask Moscow to reduce the number of staff at the Russian Embassy in Chisinau, describing it as a continuation of the country's unfriendly line.

"Unfortunately, Chisinau deliberately puts our relations in a very miserable state. One can only express regret in this regard," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at a news conference in Moscow, adding that this is a "continuation of the unfriendly line of the country's leadership."

Earlier on Wednesday, Moldova said it is sharply reducing the number of diplomats Russia can have in its capital Chisinau, with Russian Tass news agency citing a Moldovan official reporting a reduction of 45 staffers at the embassy.

"Russophobia, which is being strongly encouraged now in Moldova, often does not find a breeding ground among people," Peskov responded to the decision, adding that such steps will be reciprocated diplomatically.

"People, as far as we know, are unlikely to be prone to such manifestations of Russophobia. The management itself cuts all the ropes. This is bad," he remarked.

Concerning the second Russia-Africa summit, which is set for July 27-28, Peskov confirmed that the number of participants has been reduced due to the work schedules of some leaders.

"There is, of course, a bit of what we talked about the day before – this is absolutely undisguised, brazen interference by the US, France, and other states through their diplomatic missions in African countries, and attempts to put pressure on the leadership of these countries in order to prevent their active participation in the forum," he added.

On Tuesday Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said 17 heads of state will attend the summit, which will take place in Saint Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city, also known as "the northern capital."

According to Ushakov, 49 of 54 African countries will be represented at the event.

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