7 Aug 2018 13:49

Moldovan president asks U.S. ambassador to postpone construction of new embassy building in Chisinau until after parliamentary election

CHISINAU. Aug 7 (Interfax) - Moldovan President Igor Dodon has urged U.S. Ambassador James Pettit not to construct a new embassy building on the former location of the Republican Stadium.

"I have said I cannot promulgate the law rejected by society. I offered the diplomat to consider the issue again after the parliamentary election and find a mutually acceptable solution," Dodon wrote on Facebook.

He called for building a park or a cultural center on the former stadium's location together with U.S. partners.

"Such decision would gain approval of Chisinau residents and the entire people of Moldova," Dodon said.

Construction of the U.S. embassy on the location of the former Republican Stadium has been under consideration for several months.

In July, the parliament adopted a law, permitting the full deconstruction of the Republican Stadium and selling the land so that the U.S. embassy could build its new premises. The plot of 5.18 hectares is situated in the center of Chisinau. The government said it would estimate the cost of the land, hold talks, and draft a purchase-and-sale agreement. The deal's value may range from $15 million to $20 million.

The former Republican Stadium was built in 1952. It could accommodate 20,000 viewers and hosted games of the Chisinau football team Nistru, which played in the Soviet high league for several years.

Stadium infrastructure was removed back in 2007, when Vladimir Voronin was the Moldovan president. He promised to build an ultra-modern football area on the place of the former stadium in 2009.

The fence and the central arch are all that is left of the stadium, which covered with weeds over the past 11 years. Nothing new was built.