Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year V, issue 94, April 16–30, 2007
Activity of Public Institutions
Activity of Public Institutions
The Parliament has relieved Mihail Nicolaev from the post of judge of the Supreme Court of Justice, as he was appointed as deputy chairman of the Balti Court of Appeal.
1.2. Legal acts
Law on accountancy. The law aims to establish a legal framework, requirements and regulatory mechanism for accountancy and financial reporting in Moldova. It will be applied on all legal entities and individuals who practice entrepreneurial activity, non-commercial organisations, including on public institutions, notaries, lawyers and their offices, representations and branches of non-resident enterprises (organisations) registered in Moldova, regardless of their field of activity, type of property and form of legal organisation.
Law on modification of some legal acts (legislative initiatives on liberalisation of economy launched by Moldovan president). One week after examining and approving the concept, the Parliament voted the draft law on fiscal amnesty, amnesty of capital and zero tax on reinvested profit. It modified the procedure of distribution of funds after legalisation of capital, after examining the draft law in the second reading, so that 70 percent of these funds will go to the social insurance budget and another 30 percent to the state budget. The legislature specified the aspect related to enforcement of this law nationwide (particularly in Transnistria): the fiscal amnesty will be effective only for resident individuals and businesses which hold fiscal relations with the budgetary system of Moldova, but all Moldovan citizens can legalise their money.
Laws on modification and completion of the law on methodology of calculation of taxes for notary services and law on modification and completion of the law on state tax. The Parliament has adopted these documents to facilitate the process of consolidation of farm land; they stipulate that the maximum payments for authentication of evaluable deals with real estate of individuals will be 0.1 percent of the value of transaction, but not less than 120 lei. The tax for authentication of evaluable transactions with real estate of legal entities will be established in percent depending on the value of the deal, applying the coefficient of 0.5 percent on transactions worth up to 800,000 lei. The law also stipulates that the authentication of a transaction for sale-purchase of farm land near rural localities for consolidation will cost 60 lei and no tax will be demanded for authentication of contracts on exchange of farm land for consolidation purpose. Also, there are some facilities for payment of the state tax for authentication of contracts on farm land.
Law on some aspects of repatriation of funds from exportation of spirits to the Russian Federation. The document stipulates through derogation from the law regulating the repatriation of money, goods and services from external economic transactions that the non-repatriated amounts raised from exports of spirits to the Russian Federation operated from April 2005 to April 2006, confirmed by Agro-Industrial Agency MoldovaVin, accordingly to the annex to this law (the annex contains a list of more than 100 enterprises), will not be sanctioned. Earlier, winemakers and representatives of parliamentary opposition have signalled the need of these regulations, describing the Government’s actions as passivity and double sanctioning of economic agents who face a situation of major force.
Laws on modification of the law on state social allocations for some categories of citizens. The Parliament increased the following allocations: allocation for looking for a disabled child at home from 150 lei up to 200 lei (2nd degree); from 200 up to 300 lei (1st degree); funeral aid from 500 lei up to 600 lei. Under another amendment, people who are incapable to work and resided the alienation zone during the Chernobyl disaster, moved to Moldova in 1986 and hold the Moldovan citizenship will be paid monthly allocations (250–400 lei), depending of invalidity degree.
Law introducing harsher sanctions for violation of copyrights (modification of the Criminal Code). It introduced harsher sanctions for persons who illicitly use the trademark or origin name of protected products, as well as identical signs that may be mixed up with them, and for individuals who spread false information about enterprise or products of a commercial competitor. The new regulations also derive from the Moldova – European Union Action Plan.
Decision on modification of the legislative programme for 2005–2009. Under this document, the legislative action programme was updated, with achievements being excluded and terms for remaining actions being essentially extended (it postpones the adoption of the national security concept, modification or adoption of some laws, ratification of some international treaties).
Draft law on traffic security. This law is promoted because of the increasing number of vehicles and intensification of traffic. The draft law was passed in the first reading and it will regulate the legal-social relations in the field of traffic, will establish duties, responsibilities, rights of competent authorities and motorists.
1.3. Parliamentary control. Statements
Questions and Interpellations
Parliamentarian Vitalia Pavlicenco, leader of the National Liberal Party, has appealed to the Prosecutor-General’s Office, the Centre for the Struggle Against Economic Crimes and Corruption and the Information and Security Service to verify the accusations taken by Moldovan president against PNL that this party is financed by other countries.
The AMN faction has released a statement signalling violations and abuses committed during the electoral campaign. In particular, AMN criticised the stance of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) over the need of relieving from offices the candidates who run high-ranking posts (including Government members, heads of central public authorities, chairmen and deputy chairmen of districts, mayors and deputy mayors). AMN also invoked the imperfection of documents issued by CEC, fearing that they allowed electoral bodies to voluntarily apply the legislation in the process of constitution and formal start of registration of contestants.
2.1. Appointments. Reshuffles
Lucia Gavrilita was appointed deputy minister of social protection, family and child. Previously, Gavrilita headed the Speranta daily-attendance centre for disabled children.
Decision approving the framework regulation on approval, projecting, installation, reception and exploitation of water and heating meters.
Decision approving the draft law on scientific-technological parks and innovation incubators.
Decisions on elaboration and approval of some concepts/programmes:
- Elaboration of the complete assistance plan of Moldova (Compact) within the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account;
- Concept on sanitation of Moldovan localities;
- National Health policy.
2.3. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Artificial concerns with preserving citizens
According to news agencies, the Government seeks restrictions for renunciation to Moldovan citizenship, with the purpose to reduce the number of persons who renounce the Moldovan citizenship and obtain the citizenship of other states. According to press reports, the draft law could stipulate that only the persons who have a legal domicile outside of Moldova will be allowed to renounce the citizenship. The executive wants to use possibilities offered by European Convention on Citizenship, notably by Article 8 (2), which says that "However, a State may stipulate in its legislation that individuals who are habitually residents abroad seek the renunciation of citizenship."
Permanent reformation of social protection system
The Government is due to work out a framework plan on reorganisation of resident institutions and to make a decision on every boarding school and orphanage. The plan will be worked out on basis of findings of an assessment covering all boarding schools and orphanages in Moldova conducted by expert teams. The evaluation process began on January 18 under an order by minister of education, with experts investigating the number and status of every child from 67 resident institutions, qualification of employees, quality and costs of child care/education services, as well as real maintenance expenditures of institutions. The assessment is part of the reform of residential child care system in Moldova implemented by Government with the support of the European Union and UNICEF.
The social protection system based on information technologies will be improved in 2007. According to officials of the National Social Insurance House (CNAS), a programme on implementation of the integrated social protection information system (SI "SPAS"), which will cardinally improve the activity of CNAS, is being applied. At the same time, the state individual record register on state social insurance contributions transferred in 1999–2005 and declarations for 2006 is being completed and it will be finalised by May 31, 2007. Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev supports the ongoing reforms and considers that this sector must be more transparent and closer to citizens, while finances must go to neediest people.
Investors Association remains satisfied with dialogue with authorities
The prime minister has met representatives of the Foreign Investors Association of Moldova and discussed aspects such as improvement of investment climate, measures needed to attract more investments in national economy. Investors consider that the dialogue between central public administration and business community has been developed very much in the past years and, therefore, many problems of businessmen have been resolved. In particular, the association noted that the Government is receptive to diverse problems signalled inclusively in the precedent issue of the White Book. At the same time, investors underlined the importance of successfully finalising the second round of the regulatory reform, which aims at annulling a number of legal acts, a situation which could essentially contribute to improving the business climate and enhancing the attractiveness of Moldova in front of investors. Members of the Foreign Investors Association outlined their integral support for the recent presidential initiatives on liberalisation of economy.
Activities for Compact Proposal within Millennium Challenge Account
The committee for monitoring the process of elaboration of the Compact Proposal within the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account has held a sitting chaired by first Deputy Prime Minister Zinaida Grecianii. The committee was told the rounds of the process of elaboration of the complete assistance plan, including the conditions raised by corporation. Also, organisational measures within the process of elaborating the country proposal were proposed and an action plan for this year was approved. A broadened consultative process is planned with the participation of functionaries of central and local public institutions, representatives of private sector, academia, and civil society. The expert group pledged to conduct an economic analysis in several stages, with the purpose to identify the main restrictions and obstacles on way of economic growth at macroeconomic and sectoral levels. The findings of the analysis regarding major restrictions that affect the development of economy will be used to prepare the Compact country proposal, which will be delivered to the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
The chief of state has issued a decree on opening of the University of Moldovan Academy of Sciences as state institution of higher education financed from budgetary allocations for the Academy of Sciences and subordinated to the higher scientific forum.
The chief of state has awarded honorific orders and medals:
- The Labour Glory order to Veaceslav Majeru, manager general of the company MARR SUGAR Moldova SRL;
- The Civic Merit medal to Mrs. Larisa Miculet, Ambassador of Moldova to Israel; to Samuil Roitman, honorific consul of Moldova to Israel; to Jeroen Kremers, executive director of the International Monetary Fund;
- The Master of Art title to Russian singer Nikolai Baskov.
3.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Presentation of economic liberalisation projects
Moldova’s president addressed the Parliament on April 20 regarding:
- Reactions and commentaries of experts concerning the initiatives of the so-called "liberal package";
- Agreement with those who consider that the proposed measures are insufficient to create a competitive investment climate in Moldova; the proposed measures must be implemented with much professionalism; a strong legal "immunity" against any attempts to revise the initiatives in future is needed;
- Causes of promoting the initiatives and sincerity of approaching them for consolidation of "principles of freedom, confidence and hope."
Laying down of flowers at monument of Vladimir Lenin
Many members and supporters of the Moldovan Party of Communists have gathered at the monument of Vladimir Lenin to praise the leader of the 1917 Russian revolution. Taking part in ceremony was President Vladimir Voronin, Premier Vasile Tarlev, Communist parliamentarians, children and veterans of the World War II. A group of children from pre-university institutions were sworn in as pioneers, while new adherents of the Party of Communists received identity papers of party member.
Visit to Sweden
Moldovan president has paid an official visit to Sweden and met there Swedish officials, representatives of other countries and attended manifestations:
- He had official meetings with King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Swedish Speaker Per Westerberg; Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga;
- He met with foreign minister, minister for international development and cooperation; governor of the Administrative Region Stockholm; chairman of the Swedish Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry; director-general of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA);
- He addressed the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum, etc.
Permanent alarms over administration of underground and water areas
Vladimir Voronin has convoked a working sitting on exploitation of underground, natural resources and water areas and described the situation in these fields as alarming. The chief of state urged the Government to take decisive measures and to work out an action plan aimed to ensure the legality, ecological and economic security in the field. It is worth to note that the Government has recently adopted a special regulation on reporting by beneficiaries of underground (GD # 418 from 17.04.2007).
Meeting of popular guards
Moldovan president has addressed the annual meeting of popular guards, speaking about increasing role of popular guards in combating and preventing crimes, maintaining the public order and ensuring the security of population. According to the chief of state, popular guards gradually restore their fame of sure supporter of law bodies in preventing and combating crimes and offences, protecting rights and interests of citizens. Vladimir Voronin outlined the need of consolidating the cooperation between members of these organisations and sector policemen from localities, as well as encouraging efficient popular guards. In this context, he invited competent authorities to support more the activity of popular guards in territory, to encourage these activities of students of institutions of higher education, particularly of law faculties. Voronin also considers that popular guards play a determinant role in preventing the traffic in human beings at level of every community.
1 ADEPT has noted in previous issues of e-journal that the number of people who renounce the Moldovan citizenship is high, exceeding tens fold the number of persons who regain the citizenship of our country.
1. Inflation and prices
Inflation moderated its growth, but this may be an appearance…
The inflation rate in March was 0.5 percent, while the cumulated rate for the 1st quarter of 2007 was 2.1 percent. This was actually the minimum rate in past months. Prices of food products rose the least in March, by 0.1 percent, of manufactured goods by 1 percent and tariffs of services granted to population increased by 0.9 percent.
Apparently, the inflation in the 1st quarter perfectly fits the monthly schedule needed to reach the 10-percent target forecasted by Government and National Bank of Moldova. However, we must not forget the "critical mass" of structural dysfunctions gathered in economy, which could produce dangerous inflationist rises at any moment.
2. Financial-banking system
Banking is permanently developing, state treasury has grown…
The evolution of Moldovan banking was much better in the 1st quarter of 2007 than in the similar period of 2006. The normative capital of commercial banks has grown by about 258 million lei or 6.8 percent. At the same time, open market operations of National Bank of Moldova were oriented at withdrawing the surplus of liquidity in banking, following the key purpose of limiting the annual inflation rate at 10 percent. Massive sterilisations have help reducing the cumulated inflation rate from 14.1 percent in December 2006 down to 11.2 percent in March 2007. This fact allowed the central bank to reduce the basic interest rate from 14.5 percent down to 13.5 percent and to promote lower interest rates on sterilisation operations.
Followng these operations, the international reserves of Moldova exceeded 800 million dollars. In particular, they rose by about 15 million dollars from March 30 to April 6, this being the greatest growth this year. At the same time, in comparison with late 2006, the state currency assets rose by 3.3 percent (25.2 million dollars). IMF experts have initially anticipated that gross official reserves of Moldova will grow up to 930 million dollars.
3. Real sector
Negative trend in industry goes on…
According to BNS accounts, all industrial enterprises manufactured production worth about 5,292 million lei (410 million dollars) in current prices in the 1st quarter of 2007, suffering an 11.5 percent-decline compared with the similar period of 2006. Wine exports did not restart and wine makers do not try any longer to predict their relief of deliveries by Russian Federation. The wine industry dropped 4-fold in January-March 2007 and its share declined down to 5 percent of the total industrial production, from 25.3 percent in the same period of 2006. The decline of wine industry reduced the total industrial production by more than 13 percent.
In addition, the distilled spirits industry has decreased 3.5-fold (reducing the industry by 3.8 percent); the electricity and heating industry dropped by 10 percent and reduced the industry by 1.5 percent. Statistics also reveal a 26-percent decline of tobacco industry and an 8-percent fall of machine building industry. Rises in other sectors did not attenuate the decline of production in these industries, though the metallurgical industry has grown 2.1-fold, drug industry by 59 percent and cement industry by 56 percent, as the share of these branches in all industrial production is insignificant. The Ministry of Economy and Commerce predicts a 9-percent rise of industry this year.
4. Labour market
Medium salary on economy was 142 dollars in 1st quarter of 2007…
The medium salary on economy amounted to 1,783 lei (142 dollars) in the 1st quarter of this year, growing by 22 percent compared with the similar period of 2006. Compared with inflation rate, the salary really rose by 8 percent. Budgetary workers earned 1,416 lei on average, while private companies paid 1,991 lei a month. As a rule, farmers earn the lowest salaries while most people in Moldova work in agriculture. The medium monthly salary in this sector was 863 lei (69 dollars), after the 1st quarter.
The highest salary was paid to employees in financial sector, notably 3,987 lei (319 dollars) a month. Teachers earned 1,156 lei (92 dollars) a month, while doctors were paid 1,310 lei (104 dollars). However, foreign real estate companies working in Moldova paid the highest salaries in the 1st trimester of this year, notably 6,900 lei (550 dollars), while the medium salary in this sector was 2,100 lei (169 dollars). Domestic and foreign transportation and communication enterprises ranked the 2nd place regarding size of salaries and they paid a medium salary of 6,850 lei, followed by foreign electricity and water providing companies, with an average wage of 6,330 lei.
5. Foreign trade
Moldova’s trade exchanges with E.U. reached about 300 million dollars…
The share of Moldova’s foreign trade with the European Union (E.U.) in all exports reached a new historical level of 47.4 percent of the total after the first two months of this year, while trade exchanges with CIS have dramatically decreased. Moldova exported goods worth about 90 million dollars to the E.U. in January-February 2007, by 31 percent more than in the similar period of 2006, while Moldova’s imports from E.U. increased 1.6-fold.
The E.U. covered 56.1 percent of Moldova’s exports (44.8 percent in 2006) and 44.4 percent of imports (38.5 percent in 2006). The Ministry of Economy and Commerce explain these rises through fact that exporters have got used to the GSP Plus system awarded by E.U. on January 1, 2006, which stipulates a "zero tax" for approximately 80 percent of exported goods. At the same time, the rise of Moldova-E.U. deliveries followed the accession of Romania and Bulgaria, two important trade partners of Moldova, to the E.U. on January 1, 2007.
The CIS covered 31.7 percent of Moldova’s exports, compared with 48.7 percent in the first two months of 2006, and 39.2 percent of imports, compared with 45.4 percent in the similar period of last year. Statistics for past years reveal that trade exchanges with CIS are anaemic at the beginning of year, given the big share of agro-food products in Moldova’s exports. The trade deficit grew 1.8-fold in January-February 2007, up to about 300 million dollars.
1 For example, Moldovan citizens working abroad sent home about 125 million dollars in January-February 2007.
Roomers about a possible new Russian settlement plan on Transnistria negotiated secretly by Chisinau and Russia without the participation of other mediators and the observers on behalf of the EU and US have stirred an unprecedented array of diplomatic visits to Chisinau. Thus, last week the Moldovan capital was visited by the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, David Kramer, EU Special Representative for Moldova, Kalman Mizsei, as well as a representative of the Spanish OSCE Chairmanship. The Special Envoy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Russia’s representative at the Transnistrian talks, Valeri Nesteruskin, also paid a visit to Chisinau last week.
Of the officials mentioned above, only the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, David Kramer, presented the results of his meetings with Moldovan officials in a press conference. Thus, Kramer stated that he received special assurances from President Vladimir Voronin, Ministers Andrei Stratan and Vasile Sova, that there is no new Russian plan on Transnistria. Kramer reiterated the US position whereby the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova, as well as transparency and legitimacy should be the basic principles of any settlement agreement. The withdrawal of Russian troops and weapons from Transnistria should take place in parallel or even ahead of any such agreement. At the same time, the American official supported the idea of transforming the current peace keeping operation in the region into one under international mandate, as earlier proposed by Moldova. Asked about the US views on a future possible status of Transnistria, Kramer supported Chisinau’s position in favour of an autonomy status within Moldova, rather than a federal of confederal arrangement. At the same time, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State stated that negotiations in the "5+2" format cannot be resumed because of Transnistria’s resistance, which invokes "any reason under the sun" not to attend the talks. The US have called for an immediate and unconditional resumption of the negotiations.
We would like to remind that during the period covered here local and international press featured a series of articles on a possible new Russian plan agreed secretly between Chisinau and Moscow behind EU and US back. The subject was first opened by Jamestown Foundation analyst, Vlad Socor, who published a leaked version of the presumed plan. The subject was later taken over by such publications as The Economist and the EUObserver.com portal. According to these, the plan would envision signature by President Voronin and the Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov of a joint statement whereby Moldova would recognise the legitimacy of the Transnistrian authorities; organisation of legislative elections on both banks for a new Moldovan Parliament, in which Transnistria will hold 20% of seats; allocation of a post of deputy minister in each Moldovan ministry to a Transnistrian representative, including a post of first deputy prime-minister; maintenance of the Russian military presence in Transnistria until Moldova and Russia decide the situation is stable enough.
The Economist calls the possible consequences of such a plan as "disastrous", while the EUObsever.com portal draws parallels between the new plan and the Kozak Memorandum and argues the plan puts under serious threat the European aspirations of Moldova.
In an interview with Radio Free Europe, Deputy Chairman of Moldovan Parliament, Iurie Rosca, stated that President Voronin indeed presented the above mentioned elements to a limited circle of Moldovan decision makers on 11 April, but rather as a "possible scenario" than as a plan per se. According to Rosca, the scenario was discussed from the perspective of some possible proposals on behalf of Chisinau should Moscow advance such elements in a broader settlement plan. At the same time, Chisinau was to test the feasibility of such a scenario in light of responses internally and externally.
One can thus assume that the "leak" in the article of Vladimir Socor, who is know as being close to the Chisinau’s administration, was a planned one and one intended to "test" reactions. And given that reactions from the Western partners have been all negative, the "scenario" was invalidated and will not be put into practice. In such a case, one cannot help but wonder – is this the way in which the Moldovan leadership sees the application of the "upgrade in the scope and intensity of political cooperation" and "shared responsibility for conflict resolution" with the EU, as provided for in the EU-Moldova Action Plan?
Republic of Moldova – Council of Europe
A group of Moldovan parliamentarians led by Deputy Speaker Maria Postoico attended the works of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on April 16–20. The PACE session focussed among others on democracy and human rights in Europe. PACE President Rene van der Linden invited parliamentarians from member states of the Council of Europe (CoE) to make their national governments tackle the human rights problem more seriously and help involving diverse social players from their origin countries in partnerships aimed at consolidating these rights.
The PACE also discussed the situation in Ukraine, Middle East, and humanitarian crisis in Darfur, studied the draft European Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse and gave green light to Montenegro’s application for joining the CoE.
Republic of Moldova – European Union
Common Application Centre
The Common Application Centre (CAC) formally opened in the Hungarian Embassy in Chisinau on April 25. The Chisinau-based CAC is the first centre of this kind opened by the European Union. The ceremony brought together Moldovan and European officials including the deputy president of the European Commission, Franco Frattini, European commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security; Ursula Plassnik, minister of European and international affairs of Austria; Estonian Speaker Ene Ergma; Latvian Speaker Indulis Emsis; Andrej Ster, Slovenian state secretary of foreign affairs; Hungarian Foreign Minister Kinga Goncz; Cesare de Montis, head of the European Commission Delegation in Chisinau; Kalman Miszei, E.U. special representative to Moldova, etc.
Frattini said that the opening of CAC is a message of the EU confidence towards Moldova. Speaking about Romania’s initiative to open a similar centre, the official noted that it is important to avoid a doubling of functions and a new centre in the Romanian Embassy would have to cooperate, not to compete with CAC.
On occasion of opening of the CAC, Mr. Frattini has met Moldova’s President Vladimir Voronin, Speaker Marian Lupu and Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev. Frattini pledged to consider possibilities of facilitating a small border traffic agreement between Moldova and Romania, reiterated the E.U. commitment to extend the mandate of its Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine for another two years and invited the Moldovan Parliament to draft a comprehensive report on human rights in Moldova, which the E.U. will use to consider assistance mechanisms in this field for Moldova.
Although the opening of CAC is welcome, many media institutions induced exaggerated expectations. CAC will issue only Austrian, Latvian, Slovenian and Hungarian visas at the beginning. According to officials, Denmark will join this centre in May and Estonia on summer 2007. Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, France, Germany, England, which host most Moldovans working in E.U., are reticent so far over participation in CAC. The last three countries want the issuance of visas for Moldovan citizens to remain an exclusive task of their embassies in Chisinau.
Second round of negotiations on readmission and facilitated visa issuance agreements
Brussels hosted on April 17 the second round of Moldova-E.U. negotiations on readmission and facilitated visa issuance agreements.
According to the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the first agreement institutes a cooperation framework on prevention and combat of illegal migration, while the second document stipulates a number of visa issuance facilities for Moldovan citizens who travel to E.U. The facilities include the maintenance of the 35-euro visa tax (compared with 60 euros); free visas for some Moldovan citizens, particularly students, carriers, retirees, journalists, businessmen, etc.
Also, the facilitated visa issuance agreement stipulates the bona fidae principle; it means that persons who were issued E.U. visas and respected the stay conditions in these states could obtain multi-entry visas for at least one year. The agreement also stipulates free visas for Romania and Bulgaria till accession of these states to the Schengen area.
These agreements were initialled over opening of CAC on April 25 and they will be enforced by late 2007.
Signing of Additional Protocol to PCA
On occasion of the April 17 round of negotiations, an Additional Protocol to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) concerning the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to PCA was signed between European Communities and Member States on one side and the Republic of Moldova on the other side.
5th meeting of Moldova-E.U. Cooperation Subcommittee
Chisinau hosted the 5th meeting of the Moldova-E.U. Cooperation Subcommittee on transportation, energy, environment, information society, education, science and research, healthcare, on April 23–24.
The sides examined the implementation of the E.U.-Moldova Action Plan in the fields of competence of the subcommittee. The energy strategy of Moldova till 2020 was a central topic on agenda of the meeting. The sides agreed that the strategy must take into account the recommendations of the report on Moldovan energy system, which is being drafted by European Commission in connection with Moldova’s demand to join the Energy Community Treaty. The meeting also focussed on elaboration of the national transportation strategy and the law on communications, evolutions in healthcare sector, environment, science and innovation.
E.U. verifying possible secret deal between Moldova and Russia
EUobserver.com has reported in the period covered by this issue of the journal Governing and Democracy in Moldova that the E.U. diplomacy is verifying a possible secret Transnistria settlement deal between Moldova and Russia. Andrew Rettman of this press institution said that if such a deal exists, it could pose risks for future relations between Moldova and E.U. and the signing of an agreement between the two sides. The existence of a Moldovan-Russian deal was reported by known U.S. political commentator of the Jamestown Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, Vladimir Socor. According to Socor, the secret deal foresees the reunification of Moldova and Transnistria on a model that would give Russia-controlled Transnistria the power to block future Moldova government decisions and keep Russian troops in Moldova indefinitely.
Republic of Moldova – Romania
The spokeswoman for the Romanian Foreign Ministry, Corina Vintan, said in connection with reports on a new Russian plan on Transnistria that Romania is interested that any solution to the Transnistrian conflict be found in the "Five-Plus-Two" format. She noted that this is the only format which guarantees that the agreed solutions are fair and viable. This way, the opinion of certain circles of interests, which would be ready to condemn and even to tax an alleged Moldovan-Russian deal unknown by other participants in negotiation process, is resumed.
Republic of Moldova – Ukraine
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseny Yatseniuk has told the OSCE Permanent Council that the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict is a priority of Ukraine’s foreign policy. He noted that the immediate goals of Kiev on this dimension of foreign policy are to ensure the resumption of negotiations and to persuade Tiraspol to work positively on issues from agenda.
Elsewhere, Ukraine was thanked for consistently implementing the bilateral agreement on single customs regime with Moldova and for developing a good cooperation with EUBAM.
Republic of Moldova – Russian Federation
The chairman of the board of observers of Moldova-Gaz, Valeri Golubev, deputy chairman of the board of directors of the Russian concern Gazprom, has visited Chisinau to attend the annual general assembly of Moldova-Gaz shareholders. He met Moldovan Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev and reiterated the readiness of Gazprom to implement investment projects in Moldova, including on development of Moldova-Gaz and building of main gas pipes. According to Moldpres, the sides agreed to work out in optimal terms a detailed plan on investment cooperation and development of Moldova-Gaz.
Republic of Moldova – Sweden
President Vladimir Voronin has paid an official visit to Sweden in the period concerned. He met Swedish officials, including King Carl XVI Gustaf; Swedish Speaker Per Westerberg; Foreign Minister Carl Bildt; Gunilla Carlsson, minister of international development cooperation; Maria Norrfalk, director-general of the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA); Peter Egardt, chairman of the Association of Swedish Chambers of Commerce and Industry; Per Unckel, governor of the Administrative Region Stockholm, etc.
The meetings focussed on issues of common interest, including commercial-economic cooperation; assistance offered to Moldova via SIDA; need of signing an agreement on avoidance of double taxation, etc. Carl Bildt indicated Sweden’s interest to consider the possibility of participation in CAC, while Maria Norrfalk reiterated the readiness of Swedish authorities to continue supporting economic and democratic reforms in Moldova and European integration options of our country.
It is worth to note in this context that Sweden has recently approved an assistance strategy for Moldova, which foresees an annual financial aid worth 11 million euros for three years and directing of this assistance to three priority fields: ensuring a good governing; enhancing competitiveness in rural sector and efficiently using energy resources.
Republic of Moldova – BSEC
Serbia hosted the 16th meeting of the council of foreign ministers from the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Organisation region on April 19. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Valeriu Ostalep represented Moldova at the meeting. According to the press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova, the meeting examined mechanisms needed to develop cooperation between BSEC and E.U., identified priority fields of cooperation in the Black Sea region for next 10–15 years and signed an Memorandum of Understanding for the Coordinated Development of the Black Sea Ring Highway and the Memorandum of Understanding on the Development of Black Sea Transportation System.