Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, IV year, no. 66, 16-31 January 2006
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
The Government has given green light to a proposal of the Foreign and European Integration Ministry to appoint Mr. Iulian Grigorita as general consul of Moldova to Germany based in the city of Frankfurt pe Main. Previously, Grigorita was the second secretary of the Moldovan Embassy to Germany and held diplomatic posts in the central administration of the Foreign and European Integration Ministry of Moldova.
The executive has confirmed Valentin Beniuc as rector of the Institute of International Relations of Moldova and Victoria Melnic as rector of the Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts. It confirmed them on basis of results of contests held by senates of these educational institutions. It should be noted that opposition parliamentarians had earlier submitted interpellations to the Government in connection with delayed organisation of a contest for the post of rector of the Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts, as well as with its decisions that favoured the Moldovan Institute of International Relations that former education minister Valentin Beniuc had founded and headed previously.
Decision on approval of the draft law for modification and completion of the law on Government. The Government's draft law proposes the creation of the Ministry of Local Public Administration, which could be in charge with "coordination of local public administration sector, insurance of efficient cooperation between central and local public administration," according to officials of the governmental administration. It is expected that the new ministry takes over a part of functions from the Agency for Regional Development and National Bureau for Migration. The executive will work out the structure, functions and regulation of functioning of the new ministry after this law is adopted.
Many experts consider that this decision of executive is adopted at the initiative of the chief of state without preliminary in-depth analyses, and this fact may create deficiencies for its promotion and implementation. Thus, the new ministry will monitor a limited field - of local public administration, unlike similar structures from other states, which are in charge with the entire professional public administration. From that reason, it seems that the draft was not coordinated enough with the Council of Europe and its specialised bodies, which can interpret the new ministry as a new try to influence and control the local power.
The fact that the Government has recently approved the strategy on central public administration reform, which calls for implementation of some mechanisms of decentralisation, reorganisation and optimisation of central public administration, also indicated the inopportunity of this draft. The creation of the new ministry is not stipulated express by the reform strategy and it seems to be a "parallel" measure for principles and goals established and consulted with international bodies for drafting of this document.
The insurance of activity of the new ministry would require both the amendment of the law on Government and of the law on local public administration, law on status of lawmaker, law on administrative solicitor's office, and law on normative documents of the Government and other authorities of local and centre public administration (if the present territorial offices of the governmental administration will pass to the structure of the new ministry), while the law on migration shall be modified and a series of national strategy (EGPRSP, Moldovan Village Programme) shall be reviewed in order to establish the place and tasks of the new ministry for their implementation, if taking into account that some functions of other governmental structures will be taken over.
Decision on prolongation of the term of confirmation of Moldovan citizenship. The Government has modified its previous decision # 959 of September 9, 2005 on measures to ensure the confirmation of citizenship and documentation of population from localities on the left bank of the Dniester River (Transnistria), prolonging the term for its enforcement until July 1, 2006 (the term was earlier established until January 1, 2006). This document stipulates the possibility to confirm the Moldovan citizenship by applying the necessary stamp on identity documents, as well as to issue identity documents of Moldova (one time) to people who were registered in localities from the left bank of the Dniester River (Transnistria) on September 10, 2005 for free.
The need of modification is not publicly announced, but it may be presumed that it was determined by the low number of persons who applied for issuing of these documents and too short initial period offered by authorities for this purpose.
Decision on recognition of Ukraine's right to property. The Government of the Republic of Moldova has recognised the right to property of Ukraine on some objects in Moldova's territory (a part of an irrigation system in the south of Moldova and a water pipe in the Stefan-Voda district). This decision was taken in compliance with the August 11, 1994 intergovernmental agreement on mutual recognition of rights and regulation of property relations. Under this agreement, every side recognises the right of the other side, of citizens and individuals from this country to ownership of enterprises, institutions, organisations and other objectives located in its territory, which were under authority of the state leadership bodies of the other party on December 1, 1990, as well as of those that represent the estate of businesses and individuals.
Moldova has asked Ukraine to recognise the right to property on more than 140 objectives and the documents on recognition of several enterprises and sanatoriums have been completed until now. The Moldovan prime minister has recently regretted the situation concerning this issue, especially as regards the condition of bankrupt wineries based in Ukraine. Vasile Tarlev has solicited the sending of a new request to the governmental and local authorities of Ukraine, the inclusion of these issues in the agenda of a sitting of the Moldovan-Ukrainian commission for commercial-economic cooperation. The official mass media did not report if the Moldovan premier has tackled the problem of recognition of properties in the neighbouring state with his Ukrainian counterpart while on a recent visit to Kiev.
Positive conclusion to proposal on amendment of the Election Code. The executive gave green light to a draft law on amendment of the Election Code, which obliges candidates to present a health certificate along with other documents indicated by Article 44 of the Election Code for registration. Press releases on this topic do not provide details about composition of the draft submitted by a group of lawmakers representing the Moldovan Communist Party (PCRM) and it was not made available to the public, but it can be said with certainty that there are some serious obstacles on way of adoption besides the unclear technical issues.
Introduction of this provision may have many negative effects, including possibilities of abuse from medical services, electoral bodies, as well as creation of some premises for corruption of these institutions by ill-intentioned competitors.
From general perspective, if this regulation is introduced and has a mandatory normative composition with legal effects regarding registration of candidates, a problem of compliance of this document with constitutional and international provisions on human rights will appear. There are not enough guarantees concerning the moral protection of person, while data from medical certificates can be delivered to mass media and can be used by competitors.
Decision on approval of the draft law on access to official documents. Under the draft approved by executive, regulations that orders the publishing of these documents in the Internet within maximum three days after signing and registration will be introduced in the law on mode of publication and enforcement of official documents.
It should be mentioned that the need of a free access to official documents from legislative base of the country is mentioned for quite a long time, but the tries of this kind had an unorganised, informal nature until now or stipulated the purchase of some expensive special programme and subscriptions. A group of lawmakers representing the Democratic Party of Moldova unveiled a draft law on free online access to legislative and normative documents of Moldova in September 2005, but the parliamentary majority and Government turned down the document, preferring the drafting of a new document that the Parliament shall examine at the spring session. However, the simple adoption of the law would not have the effect of implementation because the Government would have to ensure later the publishing of all legislative and normative documents with free online access (through the Justice Ministry, which keeps the official record of legislation), and this thing requires the elaboration out and maintenance of a special soft, a qualified and well-paid personnel, a website providing a rapid access, etc. Competitors could resist, especially editors of Monitorul Oficial and organisations that sell updated legal databases, which would lose many clients.
The website www.justice.md was recently launched to provide the possibility to consult the Moldovan legislation, but the programme is being tested and it has a lot of shortcomings. However, the fact that the problem is being tackled at governmental level is welcome, being a step forward insurance of access to public information, consolidation and affirmation of the state based on the rule of law.
1.3. Sittings. Decisions. Declarations
Declaration on normalisation of situation in the Transnistrian region
The document released on January 23 reconfirms the fulfilment of commitments assumed through the December 30, 2005 agreement between Moldovan and Ukrainian governments regarding the conduct of an efficient control at the Moldovan-Ukrainian border. At the same time, the Government informs about modification of its previous decisions with the purpose to restore the simplified record procedures for businesses based on the left bank of the Dniester River and to award some facilities for duties they pay for import-export operations.
The executive calls on participants in the negotiation process in the same declaration and asks them "them back the efforts of the Moldovan and Ukrainian governments to implement the agreements on conduct of an efficient control at the Moldovan-Ukrainian state border and creation of favourable conditions for activity of businesses based in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova."
On January 25, 2006, when the agreement between the two governments regarding border control should take effect, the Tiraspol authorities first and representatives of the United States later, followed by Kiev officials said that the understanding is suspended for an indefinite period. Reintegration Minister Vasile Sova commented the situation on behalf of the Chisinau Government, saying that provisions of the December 30, 2005 document "will continue to be implemented," but noted that there are "some technical problems in implementing the export-import process on basis of Moldovan customs specimens," which will be discussed at a meeting of experts in late January.
Implementation of proposals of businessmen
The deputy chairman of the Economic Council of the cabinet of ministers, Iacob Tihman, told a sitting convoked by Premier Vasile Tarlev that the Government has succeeded the implementation of "almost half" of proposals tabled at the business forum "Investment Climate in Moldova" through concrete action and normative documents. The progress is related to implementation of the regulatory reform and fiscal administration policy, with Tihman saying that the problem of many controls of state bodies has almost disappeared. Governmental officials said that other proposals of businesspersons will be taken into consideration to draft the spending framework for 2007-2009.
Transnistrian settlement problem
The chief of state has convoked several sittings on the Transnistrian settlement problem, with the participation of decision-making officials of the Parliament, Government and presidential advisers.
A meeting discussed in details the perspective to transform the present peacekeeping operation into a mission of civil and military observers under the OSCE mandate, especially because the presidents of the Russian Federation and Ukraine backs this idea, the chief of state assured.
Vladimir Voronin asked the Government to take measures for deployment of an evaluation mission of the OSCE to the Transnistrian regionin order to draft recommendations on conduct of free and democratic elections there.
The Parliament must restore relations with Russia
Vladimir Voronin reviewed the key events and developments of perspective in the foreign policy of Moldova at a traditional reception offered to heads of diplomatic missions in Chisinau.
The chief of state said that the "friendship and strategic partnership with Russia determine the future of the country" besides the European option that encourages the development of Moldova. He was sure that "the Parliament will know to work out a European, responsible and solitary stance to highlight the deepness of our ties with Russia and will establish additional long-term directions for our strategic partnership."
The Moldovan president highly appreciated the support of the United States, Ukraine and Romania for Moldova and results of cooperation with the European Union in the process of settlement of the Transnistrian conflict and implementation of the Moldova-E.U. Action Plan.
The president outlined the importance of introduction of the preferential regime for Transnistrian businesses on January 25, 2006 and reinforcement of the Moldovan-Ukrainian protocol on insurance of goods from Transnistria with Moldovan specimens. In the context, it was noted that businessmen from Transnistria "must be informed well and right about essence of Chisinau's initiative, so that none of entrepreneurs understand the joint actions of Moldova and Ukraine as an economic blockade." The president indicated the need to include a special chapter on Transnistria in the draft law on amnesty of capital (which is being worked out).
The situation of enforcement of the law on privatisation of enterprises based on the left bank of the Dniester river and Bender municipality is not completely clear in the context of this last statement of the chief of state, commentaries on "registration and legalisation of business and estate" of Transnistrian enterprises which will get registered with competent bodies of Chisinau. Under this law, adopted on October 14, 2004, the state guarantees only the right to property of participants in privatisation "on objectives privatised in line with provisions of this law and other normative documents of the Republic of Moldova." The privatisation of enterprise that violates the provisions of this law and other normative documents of the Republic of Moldova "is invalid since the signing of privatisation agreement." Therefore, if a business has privatised a Transnistria-based enterprise without consent of the Chisinau authorities, the right to property on this enterprise is not guaranteed, while the legal nature of this acquisition is not presumed.
Control on distribution of land properties in Chisinau municipality
Vladimir Voronin has convoked the prosecutor-general, chairman of the juridical commission of the Parliament and advisers in charge with security and legal affairs for a sitting on respect for legislation in the process of distribution of land fields in the Chisinau municipality. The sitting examined the results of a recent report of the Government, which indicates grave violations in the process of distribution of land fields. In particular, the chief of state indicated the violations and shortcomings committed by courts during examination of litigations on land ownership right.
The participants in the sitting outlined the need of "studying and reviewing" the juridical practices in the area, as well as of taking some measures by the Superior Council of Magistrates in order to "apply disciplinary sanctions" against judges who passed illegal decisions. The Prosecutor-General's Office was told "to check and to solve the problem of penal punishment of judges who passed visibly illegal judgments."
New actions for development of Chisinau
The chief of state asked the Chisinau City Hall and Government at a sitting on social-economic development perspectives of the capital to mobilise efforts in 2006 in order to implement projects to which he pays most of importance: restoration of the Cathedral Nasterea Domnului, Memorial Complex of Military Glory, finishing of the northern bus station, construction of the trolley line leading to the Agrarian University, water cleaning station and waste processing plant, repairing of motor route leading to the Chisinau International Airport.
Construction of housing
According to the chief of state, a concept and a complex action plan must be drafted in order to improve the situation regarding housing. The president delivered this statement at a meeting with decision-making officials of the Government, Parliament and heads of public administration authorities of second level (districts).
The planned measures will have three basic directions: construction of residences from state means, building through mortgage method and individual construction of residences. The categories of citizens who can benefit of state residences (social residences), preferences for purchase of residences through mortgage method or facilities for individual construction of houses must be clearly delimited. In the context, President Voronin indicated the pressing need to draft a law on social residence, which would clearly establish the criteria and conditions for granting of housing by state for free. Earlier, the chief of state had asked the authorities of the Chisinau municipality and Government to pay more attention to construction of housing, so that to open 2,000 residences for budgetary workers in 2006.
An official communication about this sitting did not inform if the new strategy aims to substitute the previously adopted documents on housing problem or will be another plan launched along with the earlier approved plans. (the social-economic programme with social destination in the area of housing building, approved through the November 11, 2005 Government Decision # 1148; National Social Programme "Allocations and credits for residence" for 2003-2008, approved through the April 8, 2003 Government Decision # 422; strategy on housing market and other real estate, approved through the May 10, 1999 Government Decision # 416; national housing concept, approved through the August 5, 1994 Government Decision # 594, etc.).
Efficient cooperation with RAO "EAS"
The Moldovan president has chaired a sitting on problems of cooperation and detailed coordination of the scheme of interaction with RAO "EAS Rossii" at the Moldovan Hydroelectric Station. The minister of industry and infrastructure was told "to complete and perfect negotiations with Moldovan CHE owners as soon as possible."
It should be noted in this context that the Cuciurgan power plant has stopped the supplies of electricity to the Union Fenosa Company, which provides electricity to more than half of Moldovan consumers. The declared cause of the stoppage was the rejection of a rise of the supply price of electricity from 3.05 cents up to 4.08 cents per kWh.
The recent statement of RAO "EAS Rosii chairman Anatoli Chubias in connection with sentencing of former defence minister of Moldova Valeriu Pasat, which contained threats against Moldovan president, has challenged bitter reactions of the Chisinau authorities, with presidential adviser Marc Tcaciuk and the Foreign and European Integration Ministry demanding explanations from the Russian authorities. However, the situation of conflict did not halt the sides to negotiate cooperation for energy problems.
1. Financial-bank system
Interests on credits in lei dropped by about 4 percent in 2005...
Local commercial banks reduced the interest rates on credits in lei by 3.81 percent on average in 2005, down to 17.3 percent a year, compared with 21.11 percent in late 2004. Also, the interest rates on credits in foreign currency declined by 0.71 percent, down to a medium level of 10.64 percent in early 2006. According to statistics of the National Bank of Moldova (BNM), banks released credits worth 13.45 billion lei in 2005, of which 9.27 billion in lei and the rest in foreign currency.
Indeed, the Government has "suggested" commercial banks more than once to reduce the interest rate on credits in lei down to the level of 15 percent a year, "in order to enhance the accessibility to credits, especially of businesses." Many banks have already introduced an interest rate of about 15 percent, but it is effective only for mortgage credits, which are contracted for maximum ten years in the maximal amount of 60,000 dollars.
The evolution of interest rate on forward deposits in Moldovan lei in 2005 was interesting. It dropped by 4.93 percentage points, from 15.48 percent in late 2004 down to 10.55 percent on average in late 2005. Specialists consider that this reduction was also conditioned by "ultimate" indications of the Government to reduce the interest rates on the entire banking system. However, the maintenance of this level of interest rate could reduce the attractiveness of deposits in lei.
...while the cheap credit gladdened consumers
The growth of consumption in the past years has probably worried the BNM and Government officials, who lent a "helping hand" by obliging bankers to reduce the interests on credits in lei. Most of them have complied and we were witnesses of reduction of interests on deposits in lei by about 4 percentage points. This is a good sign for consumers, but a negative signal for banks, which maintained high rates on deposits for a long time. Remaining loyal to the idea that banks never lose, representatives of banks will find a way to reduce losses by reducing interests for lei. They may also replace the profit raised from interests with the profit from some high commissions. Thus, clients will pay the same amounts in some cases.
2. Real sector
Economic growth was registered in all sectors of economy...
Industrial enterprises in Moldova proposed goods worth about 21.13 billion lei (1.3 billion euros) in 2005 and registered a 6.3 percent growth compared with 2004, contributing this way to the rise of GDP, which is estimated at 8.5 percent, according to preliminary statistics. Basic sectors also rose in 2005. The rise of the food industry was almost at the level of 2004, while the agricultural sector grew two-fold compared with 2004.
However, the retail and wholesale trade, hotel services and restaurants had the main contribution, as they rose by 15 percent overall. Imports rose by about 16 percent, as the internal supply could not get through the rise of internal demand. More than 23 percent of the revenue in economy went to gross formation of fixed capital, a sure, favourable trend for perpetuation of economic growth.
Evolution of GDP and inflation rate
Source: National Bureau for Statistics
On 26-27 January 2006 in Tiraspol and Chisinau took place a new round of political negotiations on Transnistria in the "5+2" format, attended by representatives of the Moldovan and Transnistrian sides, the mediators on behalf of the OSCE, Russia and Ukraine, and observers on behalf of the US and the EU. The round ended on 27 January shortly before midnight with the signature of a joint protocol. The protocol stipulates among other things a series of temporary measures to be taken by the two sides in order to stabilise the situation near the Dorotcaia village in the security zone. These envisage that by 15 February the Transnistrian side will ensure the free access of Dorotcaia farmers to their land plots across the Grigoriopol - Camenca motorway, who will pay a tax worth 0.18 % of their production to the Transnistrian administration. In addition, the customs check point installed by the Transnistrian authorities near Dorotcaia village is to be replaced with a joint Moldovan-Transnistrian police check point. Other provisions of the final protocol welcome the proposals presented by the OSCE regarding the deployment of an international mission to assess the situation in Transnistria in view of the organisation of democratic elections in the region and state the readiness of the Transnistrian side to continue consultations with the mediators on passing data about its military and weapons to the Moldovan side as part of a package of confidence building measures proposed by the OSCE last summer. The protocol provides for the next round of negotiations to take place on 27-28 February.
One of the key subjects discussed during the negotiations round was the implementation of the joint Moldovan-Ukrainian statement of 30 December 2005 regarding the unification of customs procedures at the Moldovan-Ukrainian border. During the negotiations, the Ukrainian side presented its official decision to suspend the said measures, which were to enter into force from 25 January, and proposed to conduct on 31 January consultations with the Moldovan side, experts and representatives of the Transnistrian businesses on the practical implementation of agreed measures. We would like to remind that according to the reached agreement, the Ukrainian side engaged to allow through the Moldovan-Ukrainian border only those Transnistrian goods that would be accompanied by documents bearing Moldovan customs stamps and certificates of origin issued by the Moldovan authorities. In exchange, the Moldovan authorities engaged to facilitate the registration of Transnistrian businesses in Moldova. According to the Moldovan side, these measures were aimed at regulating the flow of goods over the Moldovan-Ukrainian border and preventing smuggling activities at the border. At the same time, the Transnistrian side qualified these measures as yet another economic blockade on behalf of Chisinau, and reserved the right to withdraw from the negotiations process should these be applied. The Russian Federation, in the person of its special representative at the negotiations process, Valeri Nesteruskin, showed concern as well regarding the Moldovan-Ukrainian statement and warned that the negotiations process may not proceed normally when economic, force and other pressure is applied. In the end, on 25 January, when the said measures were to enter into force, Ukraine declared that it postpones their fulfilment subject to clarification of their "practical impact".
William Hill, Head of the OSCE Mission in Moldova, showed very sceptical regarding the results of the negotiations round. "The talks are proceeding slowly. On every subject, each party has its own view, which is radically different from the view of the other party," Hill told journalists at the end of talks. According to him, one of the most difficult subjects has been that of organising democratic elections in Transnistria, as provided for in the Yushcenco plan, and foresaid "big difficulties" related to how this could happen in practice. In what regards the application of unified Moldovan-Ukrainian customs procedures, Hill said that these will not harm anybody as long as they correspond to existing international standards.
The Moldovan representative at negotiations, the Moldovan Reintegration Minister, Vasile Sova, showed unhappy with the results of the negotiations round and expressed concern that this third round of negotiations in extended format, like the two previous ones, "has failed to adopt any decision, all issues were postponed, committees and working groups that produce no results were created".
On the other hand, the representative of Tiraspol, "foreign minister" Valeri Litcai, showed happy with the results of the talks, in particular Ukraine's decision to postpone the application of joint Moldovan-Ukrainian customs procedures.
According to independent observers in Chisinau, this negotiations round, like the two previous rounds held in October and December 2005, basically concluded with no result. This has shown once more the inefficiency of the current negotiations format, and it seems that the presence of observers on behalf of the US and EU has not been of much help in circumstances where the two sides are on diametrically different positions and cannot reach compromise solutions not even on very practical issues, such as the resumption of the activity of the Joint Control Commission.
The Republic of Moldova - Council of Europe
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has issued a new verdict on sanctioning of Moldova for failure to execute a decision regarding citizen Serghei Popov, whose real estate properties confiscated during the 1941 political reprisals were not returned. As the judgments of national courts and ECHR have not been executed for a long time, Popov, 80, will receive another over 14,000 euros from Moldovan Government, while the executive was obliged to ensure the retrocession of the real estate concerned.
The Republic of Moldova - European Union
Vladimir Voronin said that the implementation of the Moldova-E.U. Action Plans depends in a big measure on accomplishment of the historical chance of Moldova to join the European community. Foreign and European Integration Minister Andrei Stratan told a sitting on implementation of the Moldova-E.U. Action Plan that 2006 is a year of crucial importance for accomplishment of this plan and for "obtaining of the quality of associated member or candidate country to entry in the E.U." The chief of state asked decision-making officials to adopt a firm and very responsible stance aimed to ensure a considerable progress in fulfilment of all chapters of the Action Plan, especially those related to respect for human rights, principles of the state based on the rule of law, functioning of democratic institutions, reiterating in this regard the need to honour the commitments that Moldova has assumed towards the Council of Europe, with this fields being the most important component of European integration. The Moldovan president opted for elimination of visa regime for E.U. citizens who visit the Republic of Moldova, an action that representatives of opposition parliamentary factions suggest for quite a long time.
Moldovan officials delivered statements in that period, when European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn said that "the E.U. will need time after the entry of candidate states, in order to accept new countries." The European official noted that some time will pass after the entry of Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 and probable integration of Croatia until other candidate states "will fulfil the admission criteria."
The chairman for energy affairs of the E.U. Council of Ministers, minister of economy of Austria, said that Moldova and Russia must urgently resume negotiations and try to reach a long-term and perspective agreement on natural gas supply. The E.U. is unsatisfied that the sides have signed a cooperation agreement for only several months and the situation could destabilise again. At the same time, energy officials in the European Commission said that the E.U. considers the gas providing problem as "an issue related to bilateral relations and that's why it will maintain its neutrality," being ready to help the determination of a mutually advantageous solution. It should be noted in the context that an official of the general directorate for energy and transportation of the European Commission said while on an assessment mission to Chisinau that the European Commission will draft a special report on energy situation of Moldova.
The head of the E.U. observation mission to the Moldovan-Ukrainian border has positively evaluated the start of cooperation procedures in the area, but noted that Moldova and Ukraine need 7-10 years to reach the European standards. Representatives of customs structures of Moldova and Ukraine commented differently the situation at the border in connection with the transit of Transnistrian goods without customs documents and stamps of Moldova. Representatives of Moldova describe these measures as smuggling, while representatives of Ukraine consider that this is not contraband because "the Ukrainian checkpoints verify all the goods."
The Republic of Moldova - Romania
Romanian President Traian Basescu has delivered a series of statements on cooperation with the Republic of Moldova at a meeting with foreign diplomats in Bucharest. The Romanian chief of state considers that the E.U. could tackle the problem of what he describes "route paper" for the Republic of Moldova, similar to the one offered to the states from Western Balkans. Also, Basescu said that 2005 meant the relaunch of Moldovan-Romanian bilateral relations, starting from the principle: "one nation in two distinct states" and "the unification of Romanian nation can be done inside the European Union." Speaking about perspectives of year 2006, Traian Basescu highlighted the need of more attention of the E.U. and NATO to the Black Sea area and support for the project on creation of a Pontiac Euroregion.
Traian Basescu told the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe that the European orientation of the Republic of Moldova is a priority of Romania and the Romanian state authorities have pledged to back Moldova's efforts in acting in compliance with European standards, contributing to strengthening of regional security. The Romanian president indicated the Transnistrian problem in the security context, saying that this is "a direct threat against territorial integrity of Moldova" and "it burdens the normal evolution off Moldovan state."
Romanian Foreign Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu delivered firm statements regarding the imminent introduction of the visa regime for Moldovan citizens on December 31, 2006, but assured that it will be "flexible and relaxed," being a premiere for all E.U. states. The Romanian foreign minister noted that the Republic of Moldova has become an important topic of interior and foreign policy of Romania and it is essential that our country "invest political trust in Romania, because this is the only chance of political and economic survive - the chance of the Republic of Moldova is called Romania," since Romania must become the neighbour from the E.U. for the Republic of Moldova starting 2007. Ungureanu confirmed the existence of a Transnistrian settlement plan in the Romanian Foreign Ministry, but its details remain discrete until the Bucharest authorities will consider that the document should be proposed or tabled to the public for talks.
The Republic of Moldova - Russian Federation
The Moldovan Foreign and European Integration Ministry sent a note to the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation on January 19, 2006, in which it expressed a decisive protest against inadmissible manifestations and direct threats of RAO "EAS Rossii" chairman Anatoli Chubais against Moldovan president. The Moldovan ministry asked the Russian authorities to present explanations over this case, in line with international rules. The Russian Foreign Ministry did not reply to the note of the Moldovan authorities so far, but the information and press department of this ministry released a commentary on January 21, 2006, regarding the judgment on the case of former defence minister Valeriu Pasat. It noted that the Russian public opinion has monitored this lawsuit and the sentence is too harsh.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov delivered statements on relations with Moldova at a news conference on January 17, 2006. Moscow insists on settlement of the Transnistrian conflict through a direct dialogue between sides and demands the "democratisation of Transnistria and Moldova." Describing the adoption of the law on basic principles of special juridical status of Moldova's eastern breakaway enclave of Transnistria as "unilateral", the Russian minister considers that some measures of the Chisinau authorities delay the conflict resolution through negotiations. Lavrov reiterated the need to resume talks regarding the "joint agreements on federalisation of Moldova."
Moldova in the world
The Republic of Moldova has paid a part of its debts to the United Nations and regained the right to vote in the U.N. Parliamentary Assembly. Moldova was also due to pay the membership fee for this year by late January. The January 19, 2006 Government Decision # 54 confirms that Moldova owed over 96,000 dollars to the U.N. on January 1, 2006 and it is due to pay 32,000 dollars for the membership fee for this year, an amount that Moldova will transfer to the U.N. budget in 2006. The debts of Moldova towards different international organisations are estimated at over 300 million lei (more than 23 million dollars).
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Touchstones of parliamentary consensus
Sergiu Grosu, 31 January 2006
The President of the Parliament Marian Lupu has told in a recent programme on the TV channel Moldova-1 that the political partnership in the Parliament conditions the political stability in the country and it is lasting, though it requires "additional spending"||»»»
Moldovan wines - between reality and statistics
Iurie Gotisan, 31 January 2006
The wine industry of Moldova is traditionally the strongest sector of national economy and unquestionably the branch that helped the country gain an international name||»»»