Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera 15 Nov 2020

Moldova torn between Russia and West in presidential runoff


Votes are being counted after Moldova's presidential runoff.
The election is being seen as a choice between closer relations with Russia or the European Union.
Incumbent Igor Dodon is pro-Moscow, while the his opponent, former Prime Minister Maia Sandu, who won the first-round vote earlier this month, favours closer ties with the EU.

Al Jazeera's Sonia Gallego reports from Chisinau, Moldova.

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CNN's Becky Anderson speaks with Dr. Sidi Omar, UN representative for the Polisario Front, about the rising tensions between the Western Sahara independence movement and Morocco. According to the group's news agency, Polisario Front leader Brahim Ghali announced the group will no longer abide by the commitment to the 29-year-old ceasefire after he cited Moroccan border operations as a provocation.
Tensions are growing between Russia and Turkey over an autonomous region of Moldova.
Gagauzia was once part of the Soviet Union and Russia maintains a strong influence.
The people of Gagauzia are ethnically Turkic and their language is also closer to Turkish than any other in the region but they are also mainly Orthodox Christians and strongly pro-Russia.
But Turkey also wants to exert its influence and has been helping to finance development projects.

While Turkey and Russia continue to vie for influence in the Caucasus and the Middle East - Gagauzia's governor says cooperation there, between Moscow, Ankara and the European Union, could offer another way of conducting diplomacy in the region.

Al Jazeera's Sonia Gallego went to Moldova's autonomous region of Gagauzia to meet people caught in the middle of this regional tug of war.
Scuffles broke out with police as thousands of Thai pro-democracy protesters demonstrated Thursday in the center of Bangkok, in defiance of a state of emergency declared by the government earlier in the day.
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