Moldova goes to the polls on Sunday in what is being seen as a broad choice between closer ties with the EU or with Russia.
The similar identity crisis in neighbouring Ukraine gives the election a wider significance.
The southern region of Gagauzia is relatively poor and pro-Russian, though this young voter favours a compromise.
“I think Moldova should find the perfect position in the middle in order to make both the people who support Russia, and the ones support the EU, contribute to the the consolidation of the country.”
Recent polls put the pro-westerners ahead but in Gagauzia a recent unofficial referendum shows historical ties still hold sway.
“We held a referendum that showed with certainty that our people tend more towards Russia, to the customary union”, said this local horse dealer, “we are orthodox and share centuries of history”.
On the eve of the poll one pro-Russian party was banned from taking part, a move that Moscow says raises serious doubts about the legitimacy of the vote. It is also unlikely to inspire confidence with voters in Gagauzia.