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19 October 2019
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Interviews

Gheorghe Russu

Vice-director, The Center for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption

Parties-Phantoms, Parties - State Institutions, Parties - State Enterprises

Ion PREAŞCĂ

20 parties have registered in the current election campaign. Many people say it is a too big number for such a small country as Moldova. At the same time, much more parties could take part in the election campaign.

Last week illustrated
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Activists launch Moldova’s first ‘Space Camp’ © Susan Coughtrie

Moldovan expectations of Romanian presidential elections

Analysis by Eugen Revenko, program coordinator at Foreign Policy Association, for Info-Prim Neo
Info-Prim Neo, 23 November 2009, 12:36

At the level of rhetoric and programmatic foreign policy documents, the development of the relations with Moldova has always been one of the priorities of the Romanian politicians. The present Romanian government's program for example says that Moldova is the second foreign policy priority after EU. We can say with certitude that there are no preconditions for any of the political forces to formally diminish the attention paid to Moldova. This was proven by the general support offered by the political class and the society in Romania to Moldova during the financial crisis.

The most important, but also the simplest things have been done during the last few months: the visas were abolished; the Convention on Small-Scale Border Traffic was signed; the decision to expel the Romanian Ambassador was annulled; there will be opened Romanian consulates in Balti, Cahul and Iasi; the ambassadors will be soon designated. In other words, things returned to normality.

The bilateral relations are rather complex, while the changes in Chisinau only started. The ruling political class was changed and there are the necessary preconditions for improving the political relations, especially as regards the 'Europeanization' of the basic political treaty, the modernization of the border regime agreement of 1961, the ensuring of energy security, etc. The implementation of the existent agreements and the utilization of the opportunities offered by joint European projects in such areas as electric power, natural gas, roads, border crossing points, simplification of the border crossing procedure, and attraction of investments is now very important.

Another truth is that the 'value' of the promises made to Moldova is increasing in the electoral context. For Moldova, the political stability in Romania is very important. Regardless of the candidate and the political forces supporting him, more delicacy is needed to reestablish the relations with Chisinau. Moldova should not be only an electoral issue, but part of supported bilateral policies. We ourselves experienced the counterproductive effect of such 'cyclical' approaches in the Transnistrian issue, which does not advance, but sometimes even keeps us hostage. It is very important that the President of Romania abandon the 'explosive' rhetoric and unpredictable moves in the relations with Moldova so as not to give free arguments to Moldova's enemies or to those who do not want Moldova to make progress on the path to European integration. Such practices distract the Moldova government's attention from really important things.

Romania could become Moldova's advocate for European integration in the EU. But, at this stage, the effect of the assistance provided by a laggard advocate can be counterproductive. The official Chisinau wants to see Romania improving its quality of member of the EU by implementing the overdue reforms, not only combing the Commission's reports submitted for adoption. Romanian should turn from an outsider of the EU into an exemplary EU member state.

Moldova does not like the permanent scandals in the Romanian political sphere as this is a rejecting factor. Its effects in a country with a different language is completely different. Another factor is the similarity with the political context in Moldova and the contrast with the stability, even if it is 'Russia-guided democracy'. Thus, the President of the neighboring country plays a major stabilizing political role.

The successful election of the Presidents of Moldova and of Romania the next month will constitute a special occasion for improving the bilateral relations and taking them to a qualitatively new stage.



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