Moldovan President Refuses to Allow U.S. Embassy Expansion

(Bloomberg) -- Moldovan President Igor Dodon refused to permit an expansion of the American embassy, complaining that he doesn’t want to be pulled into a tug-of-war between the U.S. and Russia in Europe’s poorest country.

Dodon, who’s named Russian leader Vladimir Putin as the most influential foreign leader in Moldova, said he won’t sign a law approved by parliament allowing the U.S. to move its embassy to a bigger site in the capital, Chisinau. The move would make the complex more than five times bigger than Russia’s. Dodon now risks being suspended for a fourth time.

“I’m taking this risk and citizens should know that I was suspended because I refused to give land to the Americans for the embassy,” Dodon told local television on July 26. “We want to have good relations with the U.S., but not if they try to use us in their fight against Russia. We won’t accept that as we don’t want to be cannon fodder.”

Clashes between Dodon and the ruling Democratic party that controls parliament have roiled Moldova during the past two years. He’s refused to sign several laws, including one banning Russian propaganda. An interim president was appointed to clear the disputed laws.

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