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Moldova Official: Russia Meddling in Presidential Race

The speaker of Moldova's parliament is accusing Russia of meddling in the country's politics ahead of a presidential election.

Parliament Speaker Andrian Candu said the government thinks "the Russians are financing political parties and leaders'' and backing anti-government protests.

Candu is in Washington to discuss the political and economic situation in Moldova with the International Monetary Fund and U.S. State Department officials ahead of the Oct. 30 election.

Socialist Party candidate Igor Dodon, who favors closer ties with Moscow, is leading in opinion polls.

Candu told The Associated Press Tuesday that Moldova's leaders also suspect Russia of "manipulating media outlets and doing propaganda.''

Russian lawmaker Oleg Paholkov told Moldovan media site last month that Russia is supporting Dodon because he wants to federalize Moldova to include two pro-Russian regions.