(Bloomberg) -- Moldova is set to hold a presidential election and a referendum on joining the European Union on Oct. 20 after a court approved a draft amendment to the constitution defining European integration as a strategic objective.

Tuesday’s decision by the Constitutional Court in the capital, Chisinau, marks the final political step for the referendum. Both votes are decisive for the country, which is wedged between Ukraine and Romania, as Russia is trying to bring it back into its sphere of influence.

As President Maia Sandu seeks a second term, the authorities have warned that the EU referendum will be targeted by hybrid Russian attacks aimed at discouraging the population from participating and discrediting the bloc’s image. Moldova’s pro-Russian opposition has said it will urge its supporters to boycott the plebiscite.

Moldova received the European Commission’s agreement to launch accession talks in December, and the country’s pro-EU government has set an ambitious goal of completing the process by 2030.


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