CHISINAU, Moldova – Moldovans have begun voting in a presidential election that could restore ties with Russia or move the former Soviet republic closer to Europe.
The favorite to win Sunday's runoff is Igor Dodon, a pro-Moscow figure who has tapped into popular anger with corruption under the pro-European government that came to power in 2009.
He has promised to restore friendly relations with Moscow and has recently hedged his bets, saying he also seeks good relations with Moldova's neighbors Romania and Ukraine.
Rival Maia Sandu, an ex-World Bank economist has run on an anti-corruption ticket. Many are angry about $1 billion that went missing from the Moldovan banks before 2014 parliamentary elections.
Both Russia and the West seek greater influence over the strategically placed, but impoverished agricultural country of 3.5 million.