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Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year IV, issue 80, 1-15 September 2006
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
1.1. Appointments. Reshuffles
Petru PLOP was appointed as director of the Interior Ministry's Centre for the Combat of Trafficking in Persons under a September 6 governmental decision. The governmental decision is grounded on "Amendment II to the Agreement Letter on drug control and enforcement of the August 28, 2001 laws between the Moldovan Government and the U.S. Government."
The Government has confirmed Nicolae CERVENCOV as rector of the Taraclia-based State University after a contest held in accordance with the law on education.
- Decision on concept of internal control and audit system in public sector. The creation and functioning of this mechanism is part of priorities of the E.U.-Moldova Action Plan and it will substitute the current financial control and revision system in public sector in future. The internal auditing will provide advice and consulting for a better management of public funds, better activities of public institutions.
- Decision on some measures for optimisation of the spirits quality control system. This decision approves the creation of the state-owned National Spirits Quality Control Centre through reorganisation from a state-owned enterprise with similar functions. Moldova-Vin Agency will identify the requirements of importing countries concerning quality and safety of alcohol products and will deliver them to the newly-created centre.
- Decision approving the notice to the draft law on denunciation of constitution documents of CIS. The Government opposes this decision for the second time this year, saying that this problem will be examined when Moldova will sign the association agreement with the European Union.
- Decision on administrative support centre for assistance of implementation of the reform strategy on central public administration in Moldova. It creates the office and approves its statute.
- Decision on creation of a working group. With the view to work out proposals on fulfilment of tasks outlined by chief of state at the July 29, 2005 plenary sitting of the Parliament, the working group will analyse the international practices in order to elaborate the opportune model for implementation in Moldova; will elaborate and table amendments to legislation by October 25.
- Decision on allocation of finances. The Ministry of Finance must allocate 19.4 million lei to the Chisinau City Hall "from general revenues of the state budget" for construction of the trolley line Centru-Petricani, and "will establish their coverage when the state budget for 2006 will be eventually rectified".
- Decision on transmission of a building. The Government has decided to transmit free of charge a building covering 385 square metres and an adjacent plot of 0.075 hectares in 14 N. Iorga street in Chisinau from the balance of the directorate general for service of Government's buildings to the balance of the Metropolitan Church of Chisinau and Whole Moldova.
- Decision approving some draft legislative acts. The executive has approved the draft laws:
- on state budget for 2007. Incomes are estimated at 12.05 billion lei, while expenses at 12.131 billion lei. Its estimate that budgetary expenses will be mainly directed to the social sector (rise of salaries, indemnities and implementation of social programmes), since 2007 is an electoral year, while 60 percent of the planned capital investments will go to the implementation of the "Moldovan Village" Programme (the 2007 general elections are local elections). The executive estimates that the economic growth pace will decline, the real growth of GDP for 2007 is expected to be 4 percent (the forecast for 2006 was 6.5%, but it was already updated).
- on state social insurance budget for 2007. Incomes will account for 4.958 billion lei, while expenses will amount to 5.78 billion lei. The money will be raised from employers who will have to pay a social insurance contribution of 25 percent of the salary fund for workers, (compared with 26 percent in 2005), while employees will pay 4 percent of their salaries (compared with 3 percent in 2006). A 900-leu single birth indemnity will be paid to new-borns (compared with 800 lei in 2006). Most of funds will be used to pay pensions;
- on mandatory health insurance funds. In 2007, the mandatory health insurance funds will comprise 1.937 billion lei. A policy will cost 1,209 lei, by 393 lei more than in 2006. Employees will pay 2.5 percent of their salaries and other earnings a months, while employers will pay another 2.5 percent (the employer and employee pay by 2.0 percent each this year);
- on transparency of decision-making process. The document stipulates the right of individuals and businesses to participate in making and approving decisions by central and local public administration authorities. The decisions will be raised for public debates in order to learn the opinion of community;
- on housing. The document will regulate the rights of citizens to enjoy priority for housing (homeless people, orphan children and children without parents' care, internally displaced persons from the eastern districts of the country). The law will also regulate the record and types of dwelling funds, reconstruction, technical service and repairing, modalities of payment for use of residence and public dwelling services, control of central and local public administration authorities on rights of citizens to residence, respect for rules and norms of management and technical service of dwelling fund, as well as evacuation of citizens from dwelling fund;
- on electronic communications. The draft will allow the efficient liberalisation of market, creation of favourable conditions for entrepreneurial activity in the field, protection of users. The rights of final users, access to public electronic communication networks and associated infrastructure, and their interconnection will be regulated. The document aims to adjust the national legislative framework to the community one, being drafted in line with the E.U.-Moldova Action Plan, EGPRSP and the 2005-09 Action Programme of the Government;
- on annulment of taxes for visas. Foreigners who will want to celebrate the National Day of Wine on October 7-8 will not have to pay taxes for Moldovan visas (40-60 dollars). Foreign citizens will be able to obtain visas free of charge from diplomatic and consular missions of Moldova abroad, as well as from consular offices to other countries: the Chisinau International Airport, Leuseni, Cahul and Sculeni. It should be mentioned that starting January 1, 2007, Moldova will abolish the visa regime for citizens of the European Union, the United States, Canada, the Swiss Confederation and Japan.
- on modification of some legislative acts. It seeks the exclusion of the right of police, the Constitutional Court, judges, prosecutors, employees of penitentiaries, military to enjoy priority for housing. The amendments are argued through fact that the norms are declarative, while the state cannot fulfil its commitments in the field. It also invokes the need of ensuring the constitutional principle of quality in front of law, though these norms continued to be in force after 1994 and laws that preserved these priorities have been recently adopted, while the Government did not declare them as unconstitutional. At the same time, some judgments of the Constitutional Court say that it is inadmissible to reduce the legal protection of judge sanctioned by the law on status of judge (Judgments of the Constitutional Court #4 from 27.01.2000, #19 from 29.04.1999, #27 from 18.05.1999, #38 from 15.12.1998) when new laws and other legal acts are adopted.
1.3. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Continuing the implementation of EGPRSP
The prime minister has chaired a working sitting on results and extension of implementation of the Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (EGPRSP). The Ministry of Economy and Commerce estimates that the EGPRSP commitments for 2004-2006 have been generally implemented in all dimensions, a fact confirmed by assessments by IMF and the International Association for Development. At the same time, it was established that many objectives remain current for the next years and the implementation of EGPRSP will be extended and some objectives will be preserved. A group was created at the order of prime minister to make a synthesis and an analysis of results of implementation of objectives and priorities of EGPRSP and after socio-economic development in 2004-2006, and a task force was set up to start the process of revision and elaboration of annexes 5, 6 and 7 to EGPRSP. Ministries and other central administrative authorities must table proposals on revision of annexes 5, 6 and 7 to EGPRSP by September 25.
New Strategy on Attracting Investments and Promoting Exports
The Ministry of Economy and Commerce has launched the draft Strategy on Attracting Investments and Promoting Exports for 2006-2015. The strategy aims to attract investments capable to allow the diversification of the range and the growth of production volumes and competitive services on domestic and foreign markets, as well as to produce a considerable rise of export potential. The key directions of the strategy are: improvement of the framework of policies on attracting investments; promotion of investments in infrastructure; development of exportation of goods and services; privatisation and improvement of management of public patrimony; development of financial market; stimulation of investments, development of free economic zones, creation of industrial parks, etc. The basic priorities are: applying the role of capital market and developing the export of goods and services. Moldova is expected to pass from classic economy to the new intelligence-based economy, with reconsideration of the goods-services relation.
Low effect of GSP Plus
Although the authorities have declared it as a notable success, Moldova's adhesion to the Generalised System of Preferences GSP Plus of the E.U. did not bring the expected results. According to the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, economic agents have proved to be weakly prepared, while goods that could be exported are in a small volume or do not correspond to E.U. standards.
Analysis of execution discipline
Many ministers have been criticised at a sitting convoked by premier for presenting lately or ignoring some drafts and documents that they should work out. The premier criticised the discipline in ministries, though he said that it has constantly improved since 2001. Vasile Tarlev ordered an in-depth report on measures taken to strengthen the discipline in governmental institutions.
Foreign assistance for reforms
Moldova's accomplishments on European integration path have been appreciated at a meeting between Vasile Tarlev and Bruce Jackson, chairman of the U.S. organisation Democracies in Transition, with the sides agreeing that the pace of actions aimed to promote Moldova's image abroad should be speeded up. The sides agreed on creation of a group of U.S. and E.U. experts to provide international consulting to the Government in the European integration and reformation process.
Concerns with growth of transparency and cooperation with civil society
On September 5, the prime minister attended a seminar on participation of civil society in making decisions and he revealed the following facts:
- the central public administration reform also means optimisation of the dialogue between Government and civil society through necessary actions: development of the mechanism of access to information about activity of public institutions; ensuring respect for citizens' rights to participate in the decision-making process; consulting the public opinion in the field of drafting and implementing the state policy;
- every minister and head of central administrative authorities was told to ensure the publication of information about activity of the body they rule in mass media, organising news conferences every month;
- under a governmental order, "confidence telephones" have been created in institutions of central public institutions, allowing citizens to call with various purposes;
- these institutions have appointed persons in charge with monitoring the cooperation with civil society and coordinating the execution of planned measures;
- a special information-analytical publication titled Newsletter of the Government was launched for a wider information of public about Government's activities;
- the Government has recently approved the concept of an official website of Moldova and ordered the creation of official websites of public administration authorities;
- a draft law on transparency of the decision-making process was elaborated and approved with the support of nongovernmental organisations;
- a practical programme on communication between Government, civil society and mass media will be elaborated by late 2006.
Statements on PRO TV case
Asked to comment the situation related to the holding of a manager of the private television PRO TV, Vasile Tarlev assured that he was "monitoring the case" and the inquest "must develop in line with legislation, but the guilty will be punished if any abuses are observed." The prime minister noted that the justice must tell its word in this case, while "if somebody dared to abuse of authority, he will be put in his place, will be punished for sure. We care very much about Moldova's image, public order, transparency and development of the democratic state based on the rule of law and we will never tolerate the violation of human rights."
1. Inflation and prices
Inflation rate for eight months of this year is about 8%...
The inflation rate [Consumer Price Index - CPI] in August was 0.8%, while the cumulated rate for eight months of this year was 7.9%. In comparison with the precedent month, tariffs for services granted to population have grown by 5.9%, prices of manufactured goods have risen by 1.9%, while those of food products have declined by 3%. The natural gas tariffs rose the most in August - by 27.4%, followed by urban passenger transportation tariffs which grew by about 18%. Indeed, the calendar of administrated prices was declared by Government and a series of price rises were operated in the table of services provided to population.
...even some food products have become dearer
In addition, prices of fuels have grown by 5.3%, while of building materials have increased by 2.8%. Prices of a number of basic products have also grown, including of eggs by 14.3%, fowl by 3.4%. Per total, the CPI for food products has declined because prices of vegetables have dropped by 34.3% in the period concerned while of fruits and berries have declined by 6.3%. The Government and the National Bank will fail the 9-10% inflation rate target for this year and, therefore, they updated their forecasts . Some reports and surveys show that Moldova's population is very concerned with eventual new rounds of price rises.
2. Public finances
The 2007 budget underwent a first stage...
The Government has worked out the draft state budget for 2007 and the 2007-09 Medium-Term Expense Framework in the period concerned. The state budget for next year is built on a 4% GDP growth, up to 46.6 billion lei (3.5 billion dollars), a 10.5% average inflation rate and an exchange rate of 14.6 lei per dollar.
It is interesting that the balance of the state debt administrated by Government will grow by 772.7 million lei in 2007, compared with what is expected at the end of 2006, up to about 15 billion lei (more than 1 billion dollars) in late 2007! Also, the draft approved by executive includes a budgetary deficit of 233 million lei or 0.5% of GDP.
State budget collections grew by about 17% in January-August 2006...
At the same time, more than 6.5 billion lei was raised in incomes to the state budget in January-August 2006, by about 17% more than in the similar period of last year. As much as 25.5 million dollars was paid to honour commitments on external loans contracted by Moldova, of which 13.9 million dollars in principal payment and 11.6 million dollars in interest on foreign loans.
3. Foreign trade
Moldovan exports down by about 10%...
Moldovan exports turned over 543.5 million dollars in January-July 2006 and declined by about 10% compared with the same period of 2005. Exports to CIS members have declined the most - by 20.3%. This fact reduced their share in the total of exports from 50.4% in January-July 2005 down to 44.3% in the same period of 2006. The reductoon of exports was mainly influenced by a delcine of deliveries of food products by about 12%, while they hold the largest share in the total of exports - over 46%.
At the same time, exports to the European Union amounted to 174.1 million dollars and grew by 0.4 percent compared with the similar period of 2005. Exports to Central and Eastern Europe amounted to nearly 86 million dollars and rose by 25.6% compared with January-July 2005. At the same time, imports exceeded 1.388 billion dollars in January-July, by 15.5% more than in the same period of last year. The considerable decalage between evolution of exports and imports produced a trade deficit of about 845 million dollars, by 40.3% more than in the same period of 2005.
Government is drafting strategies...
It should be mentioned that the Ministry of Economy and Commerce launched last week the Strategy for Attracting Investments and Promoting Exports for 2006-2015. We hope that the new strategy will be aggressive enough, the way it should be for a country which has to recover a lot regarding trade relations. It should mostly promote Moldovan enterprises willing to represent Moldova on European market after the model of other new memebers, insisting on markets where exports have declined.
...but exports do not progress
At the same time, the Moldovan exports to the E.U. have progressed very slowly or even declined on some positions, though Moldova benefits of the Generalised System of Preferences GSP+ starting January 1, 2006. Governmental officials have also noted that the implementation of GSP+ in foreign trade did not have the expected results. Moldovan exporters did not recover after the "cold shower" applied by the Russian Federation on Moldovan wines and food products and they failed to comply with most of quality standards in order to make their production competitive on the E.U. market.
So, the Government should "ring the bells" in these directions. We hope that the Strategy for Attracting Investments and Promoting Exports for 2006-2015, which was recently launched by Government, will mark the passage from drafting some strategies to their implementation and will not have the fate of the precedent documents forgotten on shelves of many governmental structures.
4. Potential macroeconomic forecasts
Moldovan economy in eyes of authorities and foreign analysts...
The recent macroeconomic forecasts on Moldova launched by foreign financial institutions differ with consistent percent sometimes, though nobody raises doubts against their capacity of analysis. Thus, if Moldovan officials speak about an annual inflation of 10.5% for this year, representatives of foreign institutions advance a price rise of nearly 12%. While the IMF estimates a 3% economic growth for 2006, the authorities indicate 4%.
We have an open economy where the rise of consumption and internal demand is expressed in foreign deficits and this fact is also found in estimates of independent analysts. Theoretically, we do not rule out the possibility of some quality advances reflected in a better domestic production, but these are suppositions only at present. The basic inflation has grown much while pressures of incomes and salaries still exist and they are fuelled by other factors.
Government's estimates for 2006:
Economic growth: 4%
Current account deficit: 9% of GDP
Estimates of IMF:
Economic growth: 3%
Current account deficit: 10.9% of GDP
Inflation: about 12%
Risks: vulnerability of exports, perpetuation of inflationist expectations, rapid rise of consumption credit, current account deficit and foreign debt. The things are not much better on labour market, as there is a trend there of restraining the number of salary earners especially in wine industry. On the other hand, a higher number of salary earners in building sector is anticipated.
Overall economic growth in 2006 could exceed 5%...
At the same time, IMF analysts say that the overall economic growth in 2006 will be 5.1% on average, by 0.25% more than forecasted half a year ago. They say that the economic growth could be influenced by inflationist pressures, high prices of oil and a potential decline of economic growth in the U.S.
Developments in and on Transnistria in the past two weeks have centred on the referendum on the region's relations with Moldova and Russia scheduled for 17 September 2006 (see an extensive analysis of the Transnistrian referendum in our previous issue). Representatives of the international community have continued to deny the legitimacy thereof and rule out any possible consequence of the ballot on the status of the region. Emma Udwin, European Commission spokesperson on external relations said in an interview with Russian daily Nezavisimaia Gazeta that "the EU does not recognize the self-proclaimed entity that calls itself the Transnistrian Moldovan republic. The OSCE has clearly stated its position - this referendum is not legitimate. Accordingly, the European Union will not recognize the results of the referendum." At the same time, the EC official denied any parallel between the situation in Transnistria and the one in Montenegro. "Such parallels are incorrect. These are different processes: the division between Serbia and Montenegro took place in accordance with an agreement reached between the two sides. There is a completely different situation in Transnistria [...]. There is no agreement between Chisinau and Tiraspol regarding the holding of the September referendum," Emma Udwin told Nezavisimaia Gazeta.
A similar position was reasserted by the US in the person of David J. Kramer, US Secretary of State Deputy Assistant. Speaking to an international conference in Chisinau on 9 September on behalf of the US Government, Kramer stated that the US seek a resolution of the Transnistrian conflict that would fully respect the principle of territorial integrity and sovereignty of Moldova and that there should be an "unambiguous non-recognition of the referendum" by all stakeholders.
In striking contrast with these and other statements by the EU, OSCE, US, Ukraine and other states, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued on 13 September a commentary justifying the Transnistrian referendum.
"The decision of the Transnistrian leadership to consult its population needs to be regarded in the context of the general evolution of the political situation in the region, where lately attempts are being made to impose a unitary model of settlement and to change unilaterally the current security mechanisms", the Russian commentary states. It calls the referendum "a logical consequence of the decision of Chisinau and Kiev to unilaterally toughen the regime of Transnistrian enterprises access to external markets and factually include them into the Moldovan jurisdiction". Faced with an "economic blockade" that has triggered a "humanitarian crisis", the referendum is a method for the Transnistrian population to "reach out" to the international community. "In modern Europe it is hardly correct and politically wise to ignore, let alone disregard such a form of popular consultation", the Russian MFA further reads.
Earlier, the Russian media quoted the Special Representative of the Russian MFA on relations with CIS, Valeri Keniaikin, as saying that the international community should recognise the referendum in Transnistria as "a fact of political reality" that is not to be ignored in subsequent talks on the status of the region. In another development, the Russian State Duma appointed on 14 September 2006 a group of Russian MPs to visit the region as election observers.
In the meantime the region has seen mass mobilisation of voters to the polls and massive official propaganda calling the "Transnistrian people" to vote for independence and integration into Russia, which, according to Transnistrian leaders' logic, do not exclude one another. At a press conference on 14 September, the breakaway leader, Igor Smirnov, stated that it is important to "find out the opinion of the people and determine once and for all the external policy vector of the republic". He said the desire to integrate into Russia is a conscious choice of the "people of Transnistria", but declined to give details on how the region is going to actually join Russia, stating that this issue is not being considered at the moment. "In Transnistria a process of unification of all spheres of life with the Russian Federation is taking place in order to organically integrate into the economic life of Great Russia", Smirnov was quoted as saying by Olvia-press.
During the same press-conference Smirnov confirmed his decision to compete for a fourth mandate in the presidential ballot scheduled by the region's electoral body for 10 December 2006.
Smirnov is so far the only announced candidate for the ballot, while his most likely rival, chair of Transnistrian legislature, Evgheni Sevciuc, has not stated yet whether he will run or not. Sevciuc has shared the official line on the referendum and has called on all public and political associations to join ranks and ask all their followers to come to the referendum and vote for the independence of Transnistria. At the same time, observers have noted a number of moves made by Sevciuc in the past weeks that indicate the rupture with Smirnov's line on other matters is widening. Speaking earlier this month about the economy of Transnistria, Sevciuc blamed the bad state of the Transnistrian economy not just on the "economic sanctions of Moldova", but also on the regions' institutions which had failed "to create favourable conditions to increase the levels of production by economic agents [...] overburdened with unnecessary procedures of obtaining various permits and agreements". This was interpreted by many as a direct critique of the Transnistrian economic policy under Smirnov which has survived mostly due to the income raised from massive privatisation process now coming to an end. Furthermore, the Transnistrian legislature, in which the majority is held by Sevciuc's "Obnovlenie" (Renewal) faction, has recently turned down a presidential legislative initiative to enhance the powers of the region's "security ministry", a key ally of Smirnov.
These developments help understand why many both in Moldova and abroad see the 17 September referendum as nothing but a chance for Mr Smirnov to strengthen his position in relation with possible challengers in the December elections.
Republic of Moldova - Council of Europe
The secretary-general of the Council of Europe (CoE), Tarry Davis, has said at a meeting with Moldova's resident representative to the CoE that "the "referendum on independence" announced for 17 September by the secessionist authorities of the Transnistrian Region of Moldova, has no legal validity. The Council of Europe supports the territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova and calls for the renewal of the negotiating process."
On September 13, the CoE's Committee of Ministers examined the issue of adopting a statement on Tiaspol's intention to organise the so-called "referendum", while the draft statement was tabled by Moldova's delegation to the CoE. According to reports by Moldova's Representation to the CoE, E.U., GUAM member states, Bulgaria, Norway and Romania have backed the draft, but the Russian Federation opposed the adoption of the statement and used all its levers offered by its quality of acting chair of the CoE's Committee of Ministers to block the adoption of the document.
The CoE's Committee of Ministers continued to examine the measures of execution of the July 8, 2004 Judgment of the European Court of Human Rights on "Ilascu and others vs the Republic of Moldova and the Russian Federation." The Moldovan delegation to the CoE reaffirmed the readiness of Moldova's authorities to execute all commitments resulted from the ECHR Judgment, with the Committee of Ministers receiving a series of appeals by the Reintegration Ministry of Moldova seeking support and cooperation for the release of the two prisoners from Tiraspol. The Finnish representation as acting president of the E.U. reiterated regret with the continued detention of the two prisoners and warned that this situation shadows the Russian Chairmanship in the CoE's Committee of Ministers.
Republic of Moldova - European Union
European Parliament member Marianne Mikko considers that the Transnistrian referendum "has a provocative and illegitimate nature." According to a statement released in Strasbourg, Mikko says that the referendum planned by authorities of the self-proclaimed republic "has a provocative and illegitimate nature."
Moldova's efforts and its desire to join the European community structures are welcome, but the adherence is out of discussion, because a new enlargement after Romania's and Bulgaria's entry would fail. Gernot Erler, state secretary minister of the German Foreign Ministry, has delivered this statement at an international conference themed Republic of Moldova - 15 Years of Independence. According to Erler, the European community has formulated the offer of "the European good neighbourhood policy" for Moldova, this being the only realistic perspective of the European integration process for our country. At the same time, Minister Andrei Stratan said that invoking the blockage of the community constitution and the adhesion of two new members are not enough arguments because the E.U. is negotiating the entry with Balkan countries. According to the minister, the Moldovan authorities want a signal that our country is capable to join the E.U.
Moldova has asked the E.U. Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine to consider the possibility of intensifying the control on transit via the railway portion Cuciurgan-Bender. Reintegration Minister Vasile Sova has launched this appeal at a meeting with heads of E.U. diplomatic missions to Moldova.
Exports of Moldovan goods to Central and Eastern Europe register sensitive rises, according to data of the National Bureau for Statistics. Exports of Moldova to Central and Eastern Europe rose by 25.6 percent in January-July, due to a general recession of 9.4 percent.
The Polish foundation Batory has recently published a report on monitoring of visa policy of E.U. member states, noting that Moldova citizens face "special" conditions. There are few E.U. consulates in Moldova and our citizens have to travel hundreds or even thousands of kilometres to apply for visas for some E.U. member countries.
Republic of Moldova - Romania
Romania will not recognise the results of the Transnistrian referendum. According to a statement by the Romanian Foreign Ministry, Romania regards the forthcoming referendum as "illegal" and its results as "without any political importance."
More than 100,000 Moldovans sent letters to the Romanian Consulate in Chisinau in August-September seeking appointments for application for the Romanian citizenship. Representatives of the Romanian consular authorities consider that the exponential rise of the number of applicants for Romanian citizenship is due to allegations that Romania needs more citizens to join the E.U. This agitation could also be due to the recent statements by Romanian president that he would deliver draft laws to the Parliament aimed to simplify the procedure of awarding of the Romanian citizenship and to provide more support to Romanians from outside.
The number of Moldovans who try to cross the border with Romania hidden in motor vehicles rose approximately four-fold in 2006. According to the Romanian police, 129 Moldovan nationals were discovered this year after trying to enter Romania this way, in order to arrive in Western Europe later.
Republic of Moldova - Russian Federation
The information and press department of the Russian Foreign Ministry has released a commentary on referendum in Transnistria. The Russian authorities consider that Chisinau and a number of European countries "have hurried up to declare the illegality and the provocative nature of the referendum." The Russian Federation considers that the "decision of the Transnistrian authorities to consult the population must be regarded as a development of the political situation in the region, where there are tries to impose the unitary settlement model." Moscow says that the initiative of the referendum is a consequence of the decision on hardening of access of Transnistrian enterprises to the foreign market, while "statements on negative consequences of the Transnistrian referendum divert from the need of normalising the conditions for Transnistria's external economic activity as soon as possible."
Boris Grizlov, chairman of the Russian State Duma, told journalists that Russian lawmakers will attend the referendum in Transnistria. Grizlov noted that lawmakers have solicited the trip "in order to meet voters," but he was sure that they would also monitor the referendum.
An office for application for the Russian citizenship has opened in Tiraspol. "Citizens of Transnistria" who do not hold other citizenship are able to apply there. Taking part in the inauguration of the office was the Russian ambassador to Moldova who said that "the opening of this institution will allow a solution to the problem of awarding the citizenship to our co-nationals from Transnistria." The acts submitted to the office are delivered later to the Russian Embassy in Chisinau.
First Deputy Premier of Moldova Zinaida Greceanii has visited Moscow and discussed issues related to restart of activity of the joint commission of socio-economic cooperation and she attended a reception organised by Moldova's Embassy on occasion of the 15th anniversary of independence of the country. Greceanii assured that the bilateral relations will strengthen and develop, while problems will be resolved. She agreed with the co-chairman of the bilateral commission, Alexander Fursenko, to resume the talks at level of experts on fields.
The Russian ambassador with special missions, Valeri Kenyaykin, has said that the evacuation of military hardware from Transnistria will be completed soon and "Russia stands ready to finish this process." The diplomat makes a connection with the need of resuming the dialogue on Transnistrian settlement, saying that "the Russian Foreign Ministry proposes new solutions aimed to unblock the process of settlement between Moldova and Transnistria, but the military presence should not be mixed up with the peacekeeping presence."
The Russian phyto-sanitary service Rospotrebnadzor will intensify the control on wines imported from Belarus since more than 80 percent of them are made from raw material imported from Moldova and Georgia. Rospotrebnadzor head Gennady Onishchenko said that Moscow will restrict the importation of Belarusian wines, if any low quality wines made in this country are discovered on Russian market.
Moldova in the world
U.S. President George W. Bush has described the relations between the United States and Moldova as excellent at a meeting with the new Moldovan ambassador in Washington. Nicolae Chirtoaca has met with the U.S. president to hand in his credentials, with the American leader appreciating the steps made by Moldova in the past three years toward deepening the political and economic reforms, strengthening the democracy.
Studies, Analyses, Comments
The three deteriorated pillars
Sergiu Grosu, 15 September 2006
Half of the term for the implementation o the European Union - Moldova Action Plan (EUMAP) has passed
Inflation growth adjusted to statistics
Iurie Gotisan, 15 September 2006
The Moldovan inflation reveals rather a clear season nature manifested steadily in January-April and August-October of every year. This is linked to a high dependence of economy on agriculture, massive import and emerging markets