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Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year V, issue 101, August 1–31, 2007
Activity of Public Institutions
Activity of Public Institutions
1.1. Appointments. Reshuffles
The Government has performed some reshuffles:
- Veaceslav Iordan was appointed director-general of the Apele Moldovei (Moldova Waters) Agency. Mihai Pencov, former director of the Apele Moldovei Concern, will be the deputy director of this agency;
- The former chairman of the Orhei district, Evgheni Pisov, was appointed Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism;
- Mihai Solcan was assigned deputy director of the Agency for Constructions and Territorial Development;
- Tatiana Lapicus was appointed Moldovan Ambassador to the Geneva-based U.N. Office;
- Gheorghe Munteanu was appointed General Consul of Moldova to the Italian city of Bologna;
- Stanislav Gordea was assigned director-general of the National Regulatory Agency for Telecommunications and Informatics for a one-year term;
- Iurie Moiseev, former chairman of the district of Anenii Noi, was appointed and then dismissed from the post of deputy interior minister without adequate explanations.
Decision on implementation of the national strategy on prevention and combat of corruption in the first half of 2007. The Government notes that specialised central bodies of public administration have taken a series of measures to efficiently implement the action plan; 9 out of 11 planned actions have been executed, one action is being executed and another one was not executed, while 55 actions are permanently being executed. The executive states that the anti-corruption activity focussed on revealing and investigating corruption schemes among functionaries, holding campaigns aimed at raising the awareness of society against this phenomenon and cultivating intolerance towards corruption, ensuring transparency of activities in public sector. The GRECO recommendations addressed to the Republic of Moldova accordingly to the Assessment Cycle 2 are being implemented. The Government has also identified the following shortcomings:
- The lack of progress in assessing the institutional corruption risk;
- The insufficient participation of local public administration authorities in activities;
- The absence of internal administrative control mechanisms in local public administration (LPA);
- The situation regarding identification and documentation of corruption schemes among high-ranking functionaries;
- The lack of a methodology to assess the corruption risk in public institutions;
- Ensuring the transparency of anti-corruption activity;
- The control on legality of acts issued by LPA authorities.
NOTE: It is unanimously recognised that one of the most efficient mechanisms of fighting and preventing corruption is the declaration and control of incomes and assets. Although Law No 1264-XV of 19.07.2002 provides for the compulsory annual publication of such statements by the President of Moldova, MPs, members of the Government, Chair of Constitutional Court, Chair of Supreme Court of Justice, General Prosecutor, Chair of Court of Accounts, Governor of National Bank of Moldova, Director of Information and Security Service, mayors of towns, villages (communes) and presidents of districts councils, in 2007 this was not done. The issue of publication and authenticity of data entered into income and assets statements is periodically discussed by the society and in the independent media (e.g. see article National particularities of declaring incomes and estate), but the authorities have failed to come forward with any adequate or efficient normative-legislative or procedural amendments. This failure has significantly diminished the credibility of governance and has thrown doubts on the decisive character of efforts aimed at fighting corruption and the illicit earnings of Moldovan officials.
Decision on anti-crime activity of the Interior Ministry in 2006 and in the first half of 2007. The Government notes that the Interior Ministry (IM) has worked hard to accomplish all objectives stipulated by national programmes and plans on combating corruption and ensuring the legal order. Its efforts helped preserving the crime reduction trend, a fact confirmed by decline of crime rate in Moldova by 11.3 percent in 2006, compared with 2005, and by 12.1 percent in the first half of 2007, in comparison with the similar period of 2006. At the same time, there are some shortcomings:
- Higher number of some kinds of offences (thefts, grave deliberate harm, rapes, kidnappings, traffic accidents);
- Many criminal charges are filed without a minute control of primary materials, circumstances of cases are superficially studied, not all provisions of criminal proceedings are respected with perseverance (the big number of cases unsupported by prosecutors (30 percent) or closed by IM bodies themselves is a proof in this respect);
- The crime rate among minors still raises concern, as many crimes committed by minors or with their participation are registered;
- Problems linked to human resources, high staff fluctuation level persist, and this fact affects the professionalism, execution and labour discipline of the IM personnel, etc.
Decision on suspension of access to unused funds of the 2007 state budget. The cabinet of ministers has studied the execution of the basic component of the state budget and found out a low execution of expenses (88 percent, compared with expenditures planned for the period concerned), this being a proof of the inefficient management of available public funds. In order to enhance the responsibility of ministers and heads of other central administrative authorities and public institutions financed from the state budget and given the need of finding public funds to compensate the effects of the 2007 drought, the Government ordered the Ministry of Finance to suspend the access to funds from the basic component of the state budget unused by budget executors, as of July 31, 2007, except for the means for capital investments and capital repairs. The access to these funds will be allowed under an order by prime minister on basis of argued requests by ministries and other central administrative authorities.
- Concerning measures aimed to implement the law on management and privatisation of public property (the executive has approved the list of state-owned goods for privatisation and the list of unfinished objects for privatisation, as well as the regulation on use of finances raised from privatisation of public goods);
- Approving the regulation on importation and sale of some cereals and cereal products;
- Approving the regulation on use of funds to subsidise agricultural works;
- Concerning measures aimed at the social protection of population in connection with the rise of electricity tariffs;
- Approving the national harmonisation plan for 2007;
- Concerning the concept of the governmental portal;
- Approving an action plan aimed to ensure respect for the right to petitioning, information and access to the justice;
- Concerning the register of extremist materials;
- Concerning the reorganisation of the Privatisation Agency into the Agency of Public Property;
- Concerning the reorganisation of the Apele Moldovei Concern into the Apele Moldovei Agency.
Decision on transfer of the function of beneficiary of the high-pressure gas pipe Tocuz-Cainari-Mereni. The Government considered that the Chisinau City Hall did not satisfactorily exercise the function of beneficiary while projecting and building the high-pressure gas pipe Tocuz-Cainari-Mereni and delayed the signing of building execution acts. For this reason, the function of beneficiary of this gas pipe was transferred to the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure, while the Ministry of Finance will ensure the full financing of works in the due term from funds stipulated by the 2007 state budget law. The City Hall proposed to exercise the function of beneficiary of the gas pipe in late 2006, with the Government giving light to this request by issuing an order.
Decision approving the draft law on modification and completion of the law on petitioning. The draft law stipulates the possibility of sending an electronic petition with digital signature.
Decisions approving some programmes, concepts, strategies:
- Approving the action plan on implementation of the 2006–07 joint programme of the European Commission and Council of Europe aimed at boosting the independence, transparency and efficiency of the judiciary in the Republic of Moldova;
- Approving the civil aviation development strategy for 2007–12;
- Approving the 2007–09 national strategy on community actions aimed at supporting children in need.
1.3. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Conditions of activity for Moldovan markets
The executive is concerned to create good conditions of work for Moldovan markets and to exclude intermediaries from producers’ trading of goods. A working sitting chaired by prime minister has discussed these problems, with minister of economy and commerce saying that working groups have been created accordingly to an indication and they studied the situation in the area. It was established that 40 legal and approximately 20 illegal markets are working in Chisinau. Monitoring the situation, experts worked out a set of proposals seeking the modification of the law on internal trade, which will be raised for enforcement. The State Tax Inspectorate chief said that sales of wholesale depots have grown two-fold in one month after fiscal stations have been installed to monitor the activity of these facilities, and this is a proof of double bookkeeping of wholesale markets. Prime minister instructed the Ministry of Economy and Commerce to create an adequate normative base for a good functioning of markets, while the Ministry of Local Public Administration will continue cooperating with local public authorities for functioning of fairs and will work out an action plan on opening of at least a fair in every district, which will work until November.
Concerns with construction of the Cahul- Giurgiulesti railroad
The Government has raised concern with the slow projecting and construction of the Cahul-Giurgiulesti railway. The premier noted that the project is developing very slowly, raising concern with inefficient activities of some public bodies in this project. He ordered the Ministry of Finance to allocate the funds needed for building works and asked Minister of Transportation and Road Management Vasile Ursu to coordinate the implementation of this project.
Remuneration of state representatives in economic units
State representatives in management boards of enterprises will not be additionally paid any longer, with Premier Vasile Tarlev giving an order in this respect at an August 15 governmental sitting. The prime minister gave this order after the State Tax Inspectorate (STI) chief has reported the financial results of state enterprises and societies for 2006. According to the report, incomes worth 216.3 million lei from the 2006 activity of 276 enterprises (172 state-owned companies and 104 joint stock societies) were foreseen in the 2007 state budget. In reality, the budget was completed with 122 million lei, of which 100 million lei in dividends of joint stock societies, while state enterprises transferred only 21.9 million lei of their net profit. Tarlev demanded a more complex report on efficiency of functionaries who participated in corporate management of societies last year and asked members of management boards of joint stock societies, managers of state enterprises to protect the economic interests of the state and to administrate the public property as efficiently as possible, on basis of their salaries, without claiming special supplements from funds of enterprises.
Reporting to international organisations
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration has hosted the third meeting of the national commission for the elaboration of initial and periodical reports on implementation of international conventions signed by Moldova. The national commission has studied the current situation regarding the presentation of periodical reports at national level and approved the second Periodical Report of Moldova regarding the implementation of the U.N. International Convention on the Rights of the Child with certain amendments. It also debated the fulfilment of recommendations by the specialised U.N. Committee regarding Moldova’s report on implementation of provisions of the U.N. International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women at national level and the stage of elaboration of the next national report on respect for the European Social Chart. Members of the commission took notice of the actions launched to start the second Country Periodical Report on implementation of the U.N. International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which will be delivered to the specialised U.N. Committee in June 2008, as well as of the elaboration of the next report of Moldova concerning respect for the Framework Convention of the Council of Europe for the Protection of National Minorities. National commission chairman Andrei Stratan tackled modalities to optimise Moldova’s reporting to diverse international and regional structures, seeking an active participation of the Ministry of Justice in examination of preliminary versions of draft national periodical reports.
Sittings of the Commission for Emergencies
The prime minister has chaired a sitting of the Republican Commission for Emergencies, which focussed on situation faced by agriculture after the 2007 drought. It was assessed after heads of working groups created before this commission reported the situation in agriculture that the food security of Moldova is stable and competent bodies seriously monitor it. Vasile Tarlev ordered a severe control on bread prices, noting that a groundless price rise is inadmissible. Also, the prime minister demanded an in-depth evaluation of the structure of dairy prices, noting that the working group in charge with this task has inefficiently acted, while arguments for reasons of higher prices are insufficient. The commission described the activity of the republican staff for conduct of agricultural works as unsatisfactory, as the soil preparation works are slowly developing. The administrations of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry and Moldova-Vin Agency were warned over the necessity of "ensuring at a high level the harvesting and acquisition of grapes," while competent institutions will have to intervene operatively in order to ensure the payment of debts of wine enterprises toward producers for the raw material purchased last year.
The state commission for the elaboration of the draft Development Strategy of Agro-Industrial Complex was created under a presidential decree. The commission will be headed by Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev and will include members of the Government, a parliamentarian (on behalf of the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova), other high-ranking functionaries. The commission will deliver the draft National Strategy on Sustainable Development of Agro-Industrial Complex of Moldova to the Government by October 2007, in order to approve it.
Iulian Magaleas was recalled from the post of Moldovan Ambassador to Greece.
- The chief of the Government Apparatus, Nicolae Gumenii, was awarded the Labour Glory Order;
- Pantelei Tiltu, chairman of the Board of Observers for restoration of the Capriana Monastic Complex, was awarded the Order of the Republic; Vladimir Baldovici, director-general of the Agency for Constructions and Territorial Development, entrepreneur of reconstruction of the Capriana Monastic Complex, was awarded the Honour Order; the Labour Glory Order was awarded to Vladimir Dubelari, chief architect of the project; medals and other awards were handed in to workers, rebuilders, scientific researchers and archaeologists who participated in projecting and reconstruction of the Capriana Monastery;
- State orders have been awarded to participants in reconstruction of the Curchi Monastic Complex, in particular, the Labour Glory Order was awarded to Igor Crapivca, director of the Orvento-Metall Trading Co. SRL, Alexandr Pincevschi, chairman of the board of directors of Elita-5 Holding, and Vladimir Plahotniuc, director-general of the joint stock society Petrom-Moldova; the honorific title Honoured Man was awarded to Yaakov Tichman, director-general of Efes Vitanta Moldova Brewery SA.
- The Labour Glory Order was awarded to Feyruz Isayev, chairman of the Consultative Board of Lukoil-Moldova Company.
2.2. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Tasks for chiefs of territorial directorates of MLPA
Moldova’s president has met heads of territorial administrative control directorates of the Ministry of Local Public Administration (MLPA). He stressed the need of optimising the control on legality of acts adopted by local public administration bodies and intensifying for this purpose the cooperation between territorial administrative control directorates and Moldovan Government. Vladimir Voronin has named among main tasks of these structures the mandatory control on legality of acts of 1st and 2nd-level local councils, particularly of those on land, financial-budgetary sector, public patrimony, etc. Voronin outlined the importance of a prompt reaction of these structures to any breach of legislation during decision making and adoption of acts, as well as of the Government’s participation in resolving these problems, if needed be.
Videoconference with local authorities
The chief of state has attended a videoconference on measures taken to attenuate the consequences of the drought and preparation of the national economy for the heating season. According to a report presented at the beginning of the conference by Premier Vasile Tarlev, the agro-industrial sector of Moldova has lost about one billion dollars after the catastrophic drought, with these estimates being confirmed by an expertise by U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) representative. President Vladimir Voronin warned over the need of strictly monitoring in continuation the cost of bread products, in order to prevent a groundless rise of bread prices by private economic agents. In particular, the chief of state stressed the importance of preparing the soil for autumn crops. Voronin asked the Customs Service to remove any obstacles on way of exportation of grapes and outlined the necessity of extending vineyards in continuation by concomitantly installing dripping irrigation systems on these fields, while the Government will consider possibilities of subsidising 50 percent of the cost of the dripping irrigation systems for vineyards. The chief of state also underlined the importance of ensuring the energy security of the country, particularly the supply of all social institutions with heating.
Control regime at Airport
Vladimir Voronin has convoked a sitting of heads of the Interior Ministry, Ministry of Information Development, Customs Service, State Administration of Civil Aviation, Border Guard Service, Information and Security Service, Centre for the Struggle Against Economic Crimes and Corruption to discuss the human trafficking and smuggling. They studied concrete offices committed at the Chisinau International Airport with the participation of officers of the Customs Service, Border Guard Service, Aeronautic Security Service, and Interior Ministry, employees of Air Moldova, Moldovian Airlines and Voyage International companies. The president cited a report saying that the schemes concerned have been working for a long time, with criminal groups raising fabulous gains. He ordered competent authorities to study the causes of these violations and to severely sanction the corrupt functionaries, strengthen the control of specialised services.
Shortly after the presidency-hosted sitting, the Interior Ministry held a news conference and reported that it has "stopped the work of a criminal group at the Chisinau Airport," noting that the group included officers of the Interior Ministry and other control and security services of the Airport.
Opinions about current problems
Vladimir Voronin has participated in the TV programme "Discussions with the President" aired by TV channel NIT, and told what he thinks about some hot problems of society and Moldova in general, in particular:
- The Russian sanitary service Rospotrebnadzor will not be allowed in Moldova any longer to inspect wine plants;
- The Transnistrian conflict could be avoided, while the truth about this conflict was not disclosed so far, but it will be revealed;
- There is a difference between the declared and the real independence, Moldova must seek independence in all areas – economic, territorial and energy;
- Romania takes actions to annex the Republic of Moldova;
- Ethnic minorities must be protected and enjoy equal rights with nationals, but they must study the language of the country where they live;
- The Party of Communists is the only party which seriously fights for Moldova’s statehood.
1. Inflation and prices
Inflation may grow…
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 1.1 percent in July 2007, compared with June. At the same time, prices of food products have grown by 1.6 percent and prices of manufactured goods have increased by 1.1 percent. Tariffs of services provided to population have advanced by 0.4 percent. Thus, the inflation rose by 5 percent in January-July 2007, compared with December 2006. This rate apparently meets the 10-percent target forecasted by National Bank of Moldova (NBM) and Government for 2007. However, the risks capable to influence the fulfilment of the target, in particular, the growth of imports and consumption, very serious drought and many internal economic shortcomings intensified in June-August. In addition, higher electricity tariffs, potential rises of prices of first-need food products (bread, milk, etc.) could influence the evolution of inflation.
2. Financial-bank system
Crediting of economy and population is on the rise…
According to statistics, the supply of credits in economy rose by more than 706 million lei in July and exceeded 17 billion lei (about 1.42 billion dollars). This is the highest rise this year. The supply of loans has grown due to the rise of credits released to individuals, private companies and organisations that practice financial operations, while the share of credits released to state enterprises has declined. Commercial banks released credits in domestic currency worth about 1.2 billion lei (approximately 100 million dollars). The average interest rate on credits in national currency has declined by only 0.16 percentage points, in spite of a relatively low inflation rate. However, the excessive consumption could fuel the inflation in the near future.
Leu appreciated much versus main reference currencies…
Interventions of the central bank on currency market have reached an absolute record after seven months, with the NBM buying more than 155 million dollars after purchasing over 58 million dollars in July, but NBM did not sell any currency in the period concerned. The rise of currency purchases was due to the advance of currency inflows, particularly from remittances of Moldovans working abroad. Moldovans working abroad sent roughly 500 million dollars in the first half of this year, which is by about 35 percent more than in the similar period of 2006. Thus, Moldova’s international reserves have grown by over 167 million dollars, up to about 1 billion dollars due to currency purchases and after disbursement of an IMF credit.
At the same time, these operations have strongly strengthened the leu versus main reference currencies. It appreciated by more than 8 percent versus dollar and by over 5 percent versus euro this year. The appreciation was a result of the considerable growth of currency supply on domestic market on background of a significant rise of remittances, as well as of regional trends, in particular, in neighbouring countries. The leu will continue growing versus euro, if the European currency loses the ground to the U.S. dollar.
3. Real sector
Agriculture and industry declined in first half-year…
According to statistics, the agricultural production decreased by 5.4 percent and industrial production dropped by 0.3 percent in the first half-year. The agricultural production has decreased because the production of phytotechny sector declined by about 22 percent. The most serious drought in the past 50 years has compromised the crop. The fruit and vegetable crop this year will decline by at least 30 percent, compared with the plan. In addition, losses of agriculture will produce afferent costs in interdependent branches such as milk, meat processing, etc. Also, in spite of an industrial growth in July, the Russian embargo on Moldovan spirits exports, decline of electricity and thermal energy production, clothing industry, tobacco products, machines and equipment also affect this sector.
4. Labour market
Official statistics reveal that the medium salary on economy accounted for 2,144 lei (178 dollars) in Moldova in July, which is by 77 lei more than in June. However, the real salary rose by more than 11 percent in January-June 2007, particularly in the budgetary sector. Moldovan farmers earned 1,050 lei on average in July, which is by 27 lei more than in June; teachers were paid 1,352 lei on average, by 70 lei less than in June, while doctors and social assistants earned 1,803 lei, which is by 134 lei less than in June. At the same time, salaries in industry have grown by 103 lei on average, up to 2,565 lei, builders were paid by 21 lei more than in June, and wages in transportation and communication sector have advanced by 51 lei, up to 2,940 lei. Traditionally, employees of financial sector were paid the most in July, notably 4,813 lei on average, which is by 561 lei more than in June.
5. Foreign trade
Trade deficit exceeds 1 billion dollars…
The deficit of trade balance exceeded 1,007 million dollars in the first half of this year and rose by 45 percent, compared with the same period of 2006, and it will exceed 2 billion dollars in late 2007 for sure. Exports have grown by more than 27 percent, up to about 600 million dollars, but imports have increased faster, notably by 38 percent, up to over 1.6 billion dollars. Moldova has the highest deficit of more than 222 million dollars with Ukraine, followed by Russia – about 133 million dollars, Germany 108 million dollars, Romania 87 million dollars, etc. As regards products, Moldova had a huge deficit for mineral products and fuels – more than 327 million dollars, followed by machines and appliances – more than 180 million dollars, chemical products – over 144 million dollars. The import-export coverage rate in January-June was 37 percent, compared with 40 percent in the first half of 2006.
E.U. market is main destination for Moldovan products…
The European Union market continues to be the main destination for goods and products made in Moldova, and E.U. member states attracted more than 50 percent of Moldovan exports in the first half of 2007, by about 4 percentage points more than in the similar period of 2006. Moldova exported goods worth over 300 million dollars to the E.U. in January-June 2006, by about 38 percent more than in the first six months of 2006. Deliveries of Moldovan goods to CIS turned over 231 million dollars and increased by 10 percent, compared with 2006. The share of CIS has declined much, notably from 45 percent in January-June 2006 down to over 38 percent this year, as exports to Russia have decreased because of the embargo on imports of Moldovan spirits and agro-food products. At the same time, Moldova imported goods worth over 732 million dollars from E.U. in January-June 2007, by about 45 percent more than in the similar period of 2006. Moldova’s trade deficit with E.U. amounted to 432 million dollars in January-June 2007.
On 31 July – 1 August 2007 in Chisinau and Tiraspol took place consultations on Transnistrian settlement. Representatives of the mediators on behalf of the OSCE, Russia and Ukraine, observers on behalf of the US and EU, as well as representatives of Chisinau and Tiraspol discussed about the possibilities of resuming the "5+2" talks, which have been blocked since March 2006. Although Chisinau has constantly expressed its readiness to return to the negotiations table, the Transnistrian side has conditioned its comeback with granting the region the right to independent foreign trade activity and other conditions. According to media reports, the so-called package of proposals submitted by President Voronin to his Russian counterpart a year ago, currently the object of intensive Moldovan-Russian talks, has not been touched upon during the said meetings.
During a meeting of Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev with the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, David Kramer, the latter pleaded for an unconditioned resumption of the negotiations on Transnistria in the "5+2" format, as well as for the transformation of the current peacekeeping mechanism into an international contingent and the fulfilment by Russia of its Istanbul commitments. The high American diplomat reconfirmed Washington’s firm support for Moldova’s efforts towards a peaceful Transnistrian settlement.
On 1–2 September a series of pompous manifestations took place in Transnistria on the occasion of the 17th anniversary of the so-called "independence" of the region. According to established tradition, manifestations were launched by a "solemn meeting" at the premises of the Theatre of Drama and Comedy in Tiraspol. The Transnistrian leader, Igor Smirnov, held a speech in which he praised the "achievements of the moldovan transnistrian republic" reached despite the "customs blockade" introduced by Chisinau in 2006. "If we hadn’t been created problems, the results of the 17 years of existence of Transnistria would have been much better…the losses registered as a result of the [customs] blockade have reached half a billion USD", said Smirnov. He said he would be ready to discuss settlement of relations with Chisinau only if these would not involve "Transnistria joining Moldova or losing its independence". Also, Smirnov expressed gratitude to the Russian peacekeepers, who, he said, were "a model for international practice". Other manifestations included deposition of flowers, a military parade, street parties, etc. They were attended by guests from the Russian Federation – deputies in the State Duma and members of the presidential administration, and from other break away regions from the former USSR.
An informal meeting held in Brussels to discuss the perspectives of relations between Moldova and the European Union (E.U.), after the period foreseen for the implementation of the E.U.-Moldova Action Plan (EUMAP) and the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) will expire, was the key event in the Moldova-E.U. dialogue in August 2007.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration (MFAEI), the meeting brought together deputy foreign ministers and E.U. permanent representatives in Brussels, representatives of the E.U. Council and European Commission. The group of Moldovan officials who attended the meeting was led by Valeriu Ostalep, deputy minister of foreign affairs and European integration. He informed the audience about the EUMAP implementation process, told Moldova’s vision on the future legal document on which the future relations between the Parties will be built, and announced the priorities of the Moldovan chairmanships in SEECP and CEFTA. Moldova also raised proposals on a pilot partnership for mobility and regulation of migration inflows.
Republic of Moldova – Romania
The Moldova-Romania relations reached a critical point in August. They deteriorated after the Moldovan Interior Ministry has said that a high-ranking functionary of the Romanian Consulate in Chisinau facilitated the issuance of Romanian visas in exchange for amounts of money. The revelation of the Interior Ministry was seconded by a communication of Moldova’s MFAEI, which signalled some shortcomings in administration of the Romanian visa issuance process and the "inadequate" conduct of some Romanian border police officers toward Moldovan citizens.
Romanian President Traian Basescu had a trenchant reaction to the accusations of Chisinau. He hinted that the accusations of Chisinau are a provocation which will be charged "extremely bitterly".
Meantime, Romania’s prime minister has assured his Moldovan counterpart Vasile Tarlev that his country will provide assistance worth 2 million Euros to Moldova, as a response to an appeal of Chisinau to help Moldova remedy the consequences of the 2007 drought.
Republic of Moldova – Russia
Disputes linked to resumption of Moldovan spirits exports to the Russian Federation continued in August.
Moldova’s authorities have accused the Russian sanitary service Rospotrebnadzor of an excessive selective attitude, after its experts inspected 24 out of 173 Moldovan wineries on August 8–13. President Voronin said that Rospotrebnadzor will not be allowed in Moldova any longer to inspect Moldovan wine plants.
We recall that according to a communication by Rospotrebnadzor experts, 15 Moldovan wine enterprises have been allowed until now to deliver samples of the products they sell for an expertise, while another 7 wineries have been issued sanitary-epidemiologic certificates for 149 types of products they sell.
The Moldova-Vin Agency has released an official declaration shortly after the statement of President Voronin, saying that personal economic interests of the Rospotrebnadzor administration dictate for sure the barriers laid by the Russian sanitary service on way of comeback of Moldovan wines to the Russian market. Also, it was noted that the assessments of the Rospotrebnadzor administration are biased, so that inspections of this institution affect Moldova’s image, compromise international trade regulations and deteriorate the bilateral Moldovan-Russian relations in general.