Romania begins transporting gas to Moldova, which seeks to be less dependent on Russia

Romania has begun transporting natural gas to Moldova, as the former Soviet republic moves toward the European Union and becomes less dependent on Russia.

"It is the first time that gas goes from West to East," said Moldova Foreign Minister Natalia Gherman during a visit to Bucharest.

Moldova gets most of its gas from Russia but wants to import more from Romania. The joint pipeline began pumping a small amount of Romanian gas Wednesday.

Gherman says the government installed last month, which is backed by communists, is committed to joining the EU.

She expressed confidence that Russia would play a constructive role in resolving the status of the separatist republic of Trans-Dniester, which broke away from Moldova in 1990 and wants to join Russia.