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Moldovans now officially speak Romanian

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — In Moldova, they now officially speak Romanian.

The Constitutional Court ruled Thursday the country's official language should be changed to "Romanian" from "Moldovan." Moldovans and Romanians speak the same language with slight variations due to different historical influences. The language was renamed Moldovan under Soviet rule to separate the country from Romania and the word reminds many of the country's communist past.

Moldova's remaining Communists opposed the change. In neighboring Romania, officials welcomed the decision. President Traian Basescu called it "an act of justice." Moldova was part of Romania until 1940, when it was annexed to the Soviets. Moldova declared independence from the crumbling Soviet Union in 1991.

Last week the pro-European government initialed an association agreement with the European Union.

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