Over 50,000 people take part in anti-government protests in Moldova
Moldovans are still protesting against the government's failure to tackle the economic crisis amid record inflation of 33.5% and its unwillingness to negotiate a more reasonable gas price with Russia.
Moldova's opposition Sor Party organized mass demonstrations in the country's capital of Chisinau on Sunday, with over 50,000 participants trying to get to the city's center to call for snap parliamentary elections, Sor member Dinu Turcanu said.
Regular demonstrations have been taking place since September 18 across the country, gathering thousands of Sor supporters to protest against the government.
The police attempted to prevent protesters from getting to Chisinau's center, according to the organizers, cordoning off the city's central square.
"Over 50,000 people came here to peacefully exercise the right to express their opinion. The police violate our right for freedom of expression. The regime of [President] Maia Sandu is afraid of people's protests," Turcanu said.
Demonstrators held Moldovan flags, funeral wreaths, and white chrysanthemums, which they gave to the police blocking Chisinau's central square.
The government in Moldova had repeatedly been accused by the opposition of failing to tackle the economic crisis amid record inflation of 33.5% and deteriorating living standards. Protesters blamed the President for not wanting to negotiate a more reasonable gas price with Russia and for putting political pressure on opponents.
Read: Over 60% of Moldovans want Russian gas despite Ukraine conflict: Poll
On Wednesday, the Moldovan Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office said that it had conducted an investigation and searched the Sor party's central office in the capital. Eight people were arrested on suspicion of complicity in the party financing by an organized criminal group.
Moldova expels employee from Russia embassy, Moscow to respond
Late in October, the Moldovan Foreign Ministry announced that Moldova declared one employee of the Russian Embassy in Chisinau persona non grata.
The ministry added that the person is obliged to leave the country as per the provisions stated in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.
Shortly after, Russia received the information after Russian Ambassador Oleg Vasnetsov was summoned to the headquarters of the Moldovan foreign ministry in Chisinau.
The Russian Foreign Ministry then told Sputnik that Russia will respond to Moldova's decision accordingly.
Over a few weeks before, civilians in Moldova have been protesting the government's ties with NATO, with some calling for a complete cut with the alliance.