The people of Moldova have been voting to elect a new parliament. The president of the poorest country in Europe was among those casting their ballots.
Vladimir Veronin was once a great friend of the Kremlin. But now he sees the ex-Soviet state’s future closer to mainstream Europe. His ruling Communists look set to be returned to power. However, Serafim Urechean of the opposition Democratic Moldova Bloc hopes to turn the opinion polls around.
Its members denounce the Communist regime as authoritarian. The country’s row with Moscow also centres on the breakaway republic of Transdniester.
Russian troops are posted there. Moldova’s central government wants them out.
There has also been an election-related spat, with Moldova expelling 20 Russians who said they wanted to be poll observers.
It comes amid suggestions that they were, in fact, spies.
The US and the EU have both called for a clean vote, expressing concerns about media restrictions and intimidation.