CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — Britain believes the former Soviet republic of Moldova should progress with talks for closer ties with the European Union without being seen as a threat to Russia.
While visiting the country, British Foreign Secretary William Hague says the U.K. is "strongly opposed to any external pressure or any violations of sovereignty and territorial integrity."
He added Monday that Russia should not feel threatened by the association agreement Moldova wants to sign with the EU and praised Moldova's government for a "measured reaction" to demands by separatists in Trans-Dniester to unite with Russia. Around 1,500 Russian troops are stationed in the region, which broke away in 1990.
Ukraine's crisis escalated last November when then President Viktor Yanukovych ditched an association agreement with the EU in favor of closer ties with Moscow.