Romania Senate leader criticizes US envoy's Moldova remarks

The speaker of Romania's Senate has criticized recent statements made by the U.S. Ambassador to neighboring Moldova who said that Moldova should not reunite with Romania.

Moldova was part of Romania until 1940 when it was annexed to the Soviet Union. The top U.S. envoy to Moldova, James D. Pettit, said Moldova should "remain a sovereign, independent state," and reunification with Romania was not "a practical option," remarks made as the nation celebrated 25 years of independence.

Although there is little real support for reunification, Pettit's comments have struck a nerve in both Moldova and Romania, where many people resent larger nations deciding their country's destiny.

Romanian Senate Speaker Calin Popescu Tariceanu said Wednesday that Pettit's comments had caused "surprise, concern and a great deal of public dissatisfaction in Romania."