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Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year VII, issue 132, 2–14 February 2009
Activity of Public Institutions
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Activity of Public Institutions
Important: The Parliament convened in two plenary sittings on February 2 and 3 and examined more than 30 drafts and adopted 25 legislative acts definitively. First documents adopted on February 2, 2009 include, among others, a decision setting the parliamentary elections for April 5, 2009, as the mandate of the 16th Legislature will be over on March 7, 2009, and under Article 76 (2) of the Election Code.
Mr. Vasile FOLTEA was appointed deputy director of the National Centre for the Protection of Personal Data for a 5-year mandate.
1.2. Legislative acts
Code of Subsoil. It regulates mine-related relations with the purpose to ensure a reasonable and complex use of the subsoil, so that to meet necessities of mineral raw material and other needs of national economy, protect the subsoil, ensure the security of workers while using the subsoil, and protect the rights of all individuals and legal entities concerned. The code is based on the following principles: ensuring a reasonable, complex and safe use of the subsoil; ensuring the protection of the subsoil and environment; ensuring the combination of republican and regional interests; extending the mineral raw material base; advertising the use of the subsoil; ensuring equal rights and legitimate interests to all legal entities, individuals benefiting from the use of the subsoil.
Law approving the National Youth Strategy (2009–2013). The strategy is designed to provide youths with equal opportunities and appropriate conditions needed to develop knowledge and competences with the purpose to participate actively in all aspects of life. The general goals of the strategy are: ensuring the access of youths to education and information; developing health and social protection services; providing youths with economic opportunities; encouraging the participation of young people in public life; strengthening institutional capacities in youth area. Taking part in the implementation of this strategy will be the Ministry of Education and Youth, the Ministry of Economy and Trade, the Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Child, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Ministry of Local Public Administration, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, the Sport Agency, the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, local public administration authorities, educational institutions, representatives of Moldovan civil society.
Law on prevention and combating of cybercrimes. It regulates legal relations related to preventing and combating offences committed via information systems; the mutual assistance framework on preventing and combating cybercrimes, protecting and assisting information providers and users; cooperation of public administration authorities with nongovernmental organisations and other civil society representatives to prevent and combat crimes in information sector; cooperation with other countries and competent international and regional organisations.
Law concerning the State Supervision of Public Health. It sets the legal framework on ensuring and state supervising of health, in accordance with the current law on sanitary-epidemic insurance of people.
Law on modification and completion of the law concerning identity papers in the national passport system. The new regulation deletes several categories of holders of special passports:
- Judges of the Constitutional Court;
- Director and deputy director of the Centre for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption;
- Deputy chairpersons of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
- Moldovan judges to the European Court of Human Rights, their spouses and minor children who reside with them throughout this mandate;
- Judges of the Supreme Court of Justice, chairpersons and deputy chairpersons of the Court of Appeal;
- Members of official presidential, parliamentary and governmental delegations to other countries.
It awards the right to diplomatic and service passports to the following:
- Chairperson of the Superior Council of Magistracy;
- Directors-general of the Customs Service and Border Guard Service, director of the Information and Security Service;
- Moldovan representatives to international organisations;
- Chairperson of the Central Electoral Commission;
- Heads and deputy heads of central public administration advising the Government;
- Deputy Directors of the Information and Security Service.
Law on modification and completion of the Penal Code. It introduces a new article – Article 13412 – which incriminates drunk people. It increases sanctions for violations committed by drunk people. As well, the Code was completed with a new article – Article 2641
- concerning the driving in a drunk or drugged condition. Such offences will be sanctioned at least 400 conventional units (8,000 lei) and maximum a detention term of up to 3 years.
Laws on ratification of some international acts:
- The amendment to the 2003–2008 Agreement between Governments of the Republic of Moldova and Sweden concerning the general framework and conditions for development-related cooperation;
- The Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime;
- The social insurance agreement between Moldova and Bulgaria;
- The credit framework agreement between the Moldovan Government and the Council of Europe Development Bank.
Parliamentarian Dumitru Braghis has read a statement in which the Social Democratic Party calls for the approval of an anti-crisis programme.
Legislator Valentina Cusnir has read a statement accusing an ombudsman of failing to study the law, not paying state social insurance contributions for many years and presenting false documents on labour.
Note by ADEPT: The list of candidates for the parliamentary elections on behalf of the Party of Communists includes the prime minister, 2 deputy prime ministers, 8 ministers and 2 deputy ministers. Under Article 13 (3) of the Election Code, ministers must suspend their service throughout the electoral campaign. The acting cabinet is made of 16 ministries and thus more than half of them will be led by deputy ministers, interims throughout the electoral campaign.
2.1. Appointments. Dismissals
Filip Lozovan was recalled as deputy director of the department for humanitarian cooperation, political and social affairs of the CIS Executive Committee, and Dumitru Prijmireanu, member of the Moldovan Parliament, was appointed to succeed him.
Decision concerning the preparation of the second round of deposits indexation in "Banca de Economii". Under the governmental decision, the Ministry of Finance will elaborate the indexation mechanism by April 20, 2009 and will present proposals on payment terms of indexation by September 15, 2009. S.A. "Banca de Economii" will provide information about beneficiaries of indexation and afferent amount. The Ministry of Information Development will update the list of beneficiaries (accordingly to provided data and information for the database).
Decision extending the term of the plan’s procedure for S.A. "Termocom". According to the governmental decision, the term of the plan’s procedure is extended with three years, given the importance of S.A. Termocom for ensuring the energy security of the country.
Note by ADEPT: Under the insolvency law, the term of the plan’s procedure is established accordingly to the decision by assembly of creditors and must be maximum 3 years, but a term of up to 5 years may be set under a governmental decision, if the debtor has a vital importance for national economy. In the event the 5-year term was insufficient to finalise the plan’s procedure and the liquidation of the debtor could have a negative impact on national economy, the term may be extended up to 3 years under a governmental decision. Earlier, authorities of the Chisinau municipality, opposition parties and independent experts have described the work of S.A. "Termocom" as economically inefficient, while maintaining this enterprise in an extended insolvency procedure is regarded as a lever of economic influence on municipal authorities.
Decision on modifying the action plan for implementation of the National Development Strategy. The essence of amendments consists in changing implementation terms of actions unfulfilled in 2008.
Decisions approving some regulations:
- The regulation on auctions with call and discount;
- Concerning the organisation of functioning of the Curative-Sanatoria and Recovery Association;
- Norms on endowment of Interior Ministry subdivisions with service transport.
Decisions approving plans, programmes:
- The national action plan on employment for 2009;
- The development programme of electronic industry until 2015;
- The state programme on sustaining the development of small and medium businesses for 2009–2011;
- The action plan on implementation of Law # 158-XVI from 4 July 2008 concerning the public function and status of public functionary in 2009.
Decision concerning the distribution of funds. It allocates 2,300,000 lei to the National Centre for the Protection of Personal Data (CPD) from funds foreseen for the implementation of the reform strategy of central public administration.
Note by ADEPT: The law concerning the protection of personal data was adopted on February 15, 2007 while the CPD was created under Law # 182-XVI from 10.07.2008, which entered into force "when adopted" and stipulated the opening of funding to the centre on January 1, 2009, but neither the Government nor the Parliament have foreseen in the state budget law for 2009 the funds needed for the functioning of this public institution, and this blocked and continues to harden its operation.
2.3. Sittings. Decisions. Statements
Key task – assisting business
Prime minister has commented on economic situation in Moldova:
- The GDP has grown by 7.2 percent in 2008, so that the objective set in the "Progress and Integration" programme was successfully reached;
- The economic growth will be assured in 2009, too, in spite of the imminent fall of indicators of some branches;
- The key task of the executive, particularly of the economic bloc is to provide maximum assistance to the domestic economic environment, to remove any administrative obstacle on way of business development, to speed up the attraction of new investments and capitalisation of ongoing projects;
- All ministers and heads of economic authorities, particularly those in charge with regulating entrepreneurship must do their best to assist the business. Each of them must open a hotline for economic agents to signal problems they face with these institutions;
- Economic agents are invited to use all available ways in order to signal shortcomings.
Increased salaries for health employees
Salaries of employees of public medical-sanitary institutions participating in the mandatory health insurance system will be increased by about 22 percent starting March 1, 2009. In particular, the wage for the 1st qualification category will be increased from 615 lei up to 750 lei and the average salary of these categories of employees will be between 2,394 and 3,809 lei. More than 342 million lei will be necessary a year to increase their salaries and these funds will be covered from means contracted by the National Health Insurance Company and other incomes of public health institutions. About 50,000 employees of public health institutions will earn higher salaries.
GDP "keeps well"…
Official statistics reveal that the GDP was worth 62.84 billion lei (about 6 billion dollars) in 2008, with current market prices exceeding by 7.2 percent the achievements of the last year in real terms (Diagram 1). The gross value added in commodity sector has increased by 14.7 percent compared with 2007 and contributed with 3.6 percent to the real GDP growth. The growth was conditioned by a significant rise of the gross value added in agriculture, more than 35 percent, compared with the last year. In industry, the gross value added has grown by 0.3 percent only in 2008, compared with 2007.
The gross value added in service sector has increased by 3.8 percent, contributing with 2.3 percent to the real GDP growth. Taxes on product and import have advanced by 9.2 percent, compared with the last year, contributing with 18.8 percent to the GDP formation and with 1.7 percent to its real growth. The GDP growth on expense elements was primarily conditioned by the 4.6 percent rise of the final consumption, compared with the last year, contributing with 5.2 percent to the real GDP growth. The gross fixed capital formation has increased by 1.8 percent compared with 2007, contributing with more than 34 percent to the GDP formation and with 0.6 percent to its real growth.
Diagram 1. Dynamic of key economic indicators, annual values in %
Source: NBS, NBM, IMF, governmental forecasts
2. Inflation and prices
Prices in Moldova are on the decline, compared with regional realities…
According to NBS, a 0.1-percent deflation was recorded in January. The fall of average consumer prices was linked to the prices reduction for manufactured goods by 0.6 percent, while prices of food products and tariffs for public services have increased by 0.2 percent each.
As regards food prices, average consumer prices rose as follows in January: fresh vegetables by about 6 percent, potatoes by 2.3 percent, fresh fruits by 1.1 percent (apples by 4.6 percent), milk and dairy by 0.6 percent. On the other hand, prices of rice have decreased by 7.5 percent, vegetal oil by approximately 7 percent, citric by 5 percent, sugar by 4.8 percent, bakery by 1.2 percent (grits by 3.6 percent).
Prices of the following manufactured goods have decreased in the period concerned: fuels by 3.6 percent (oil by 6.3 percent, bottled natural gas by more than 7 percent), building materials by 0.5 percent, ready-made clothes, footwear, TV sets, telephony, audiovisual and household appliances by 0.2 percent each.
Tariffs of public services increased as follows in January 2009: education services and tariffs for nursery and kindergarten services by 3.4 percent, pay-for services by healthcare institutions by 2.4 percent and sanatorium services by 3.7 percent.
3. Banking system
Popularity of credit card transactions is on the rise…
Transactions by credit cards issued in Moldova have increased by about 44 percent in 2008, compared with 2007. On the other hand, transactions by local credit cards have decreased by about 8 percent, from 25.3 million lei down to 23.3 million lei, while transactions by international cards have increased by about 44 percent, from 8 billion lei up to 11.5 billion lei. Transactions by foreign bank cards operated in Moldova have increased by more than 13 percent, from 1.1 billion lei down to 1.3 billion lei.
Moldovans sent home the equivalent to a budget in 2008…
According to statistics on international bank operations, Moldovan nationals working abroad have sent home 1.65 billion dollars in 2008, by about 36 percent more than in 2007. They sent more than 1.32 billion dollars via rapid money transfer systems, which is by about 44 percent more than in 2007. The largest amount was transferred in the 3rd quarter of 2008 – nearly 504 million dollars.
Remittances have constantly grown from the beginning of the year till August, when a decline was recorded. In particular, 166.33 million dollars was sent in August 2008, 156.8 million dollars in September, 139.1 million dollars in October, and more than 111 million dollars in November. Remittances increased by 44 percent in December 2008, compared with November, up to 141.5 million dollars. Remittances in Euros accounted for 48.7 percent in 2008, in dollars for 45.4 percent, Russian roubles 5.5 percent, other currencies 0.4 percent; the currency structure in 2007 was the following: 40.5 percent in Euros, 57.9 percent in US dollars, 1.6 percent in Russian roubles, and 0.2 percent in other currencies.
Diagram 1. Dynamic of remittances, annual values, million dollars
Source: NBM, IMF
4. External trade
Moldova’s tries to align to European standards…
The Republic of Moldova chaired the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) in 2008. Majority of CEFTA member states have already aligned to community legislation, as they are candidates or potential candidates to EU. In particular, they aligned to standardisation and metrology, customs system, etc. Moldova has to adjust its legislation to the acquis communautaire, in order to remove non-tariff barriers.
As regards industrial products, Moldova has made all necessary legal decisions and adjusted the legislation to EU standards, so that it just has to implement them and make these mechanisms operational. As for food products, especially sanitary and phytosanitary measures, the situation is unfavourable. On the one hand, there are lots of laws and the priority to execute them is unclear to Moldovan authorities themselves. Moldova lacks a distinct strategy on sanitary and phytosanitary measures. As regards the customs sector, almost all legal and institutional frameworks were readjusted to EU regulations and now their functioning is considered.
Montenegro will take over the CEFTA Chairmanship in 2009. CEFTA surnamed as EU ante-chamber stipulates the cancellation by 2010 of all import and export duties, quantity restrictions and other equivalent taxes on trading industrial products, majority of agro-industrial products. Current CEFTA members are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Croatia, Serbia, and Kosovo. Moldova’s trade exchanges with CEFTA member states accounted for 25 million dollars in 2008, which is 0.4 percent of the overall external trade of Moldova.
OSCE’s efforts to actuate Transnistrian settlement
- On February 5, 2009, the head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Philip Remler, had a meeting with Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov in Tiraspol. Mr. Remler stated that a representative of the Czech OSCE Chairmanship will visit the Republic of Moldova and the Transnistrian region in the second half of February to collect facts about the state of things in the Transnistrian settlement process. The visit will follow a recent visit to Moldova by a delegation made of representatives of Italy and Turkey headed by OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Joao Soares. The delegation visited the Transnistrian region as well and met there representatives of local authorities to collect facts about the state of things on the scene. According to Mr. Joao Soares, the OSCE made the conclusion that there are not premises of concern regarding an eventual military confrontation between the parties, due to permanent consultations aimed at building reciprocal confidence.
- The OSCE Mission in Chisinau has hosted a meeting of economic expert groups on behalf of Chisinau and Tiraspol. The Transnistrian side was interested in "reduction of taxes and pressures by Moldova, avoiding political matters." As well, Transnistrian authorities are interested in healthcare issues, especially joint projects on endowment of the blood transfusion centre in Tiraspol, prevention of tuberculosis and AIDS. A Transnistria-based hospital for children is expected to be endowed with modern equipment from budgetary funds of Moldova (approximately 500,000 Euros).
Prospects to resume the negotiation process
- During the February 5, 2009 meeting between the head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Philip Ramler, and Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov, the latter said that the break in the negotiation process is linked to the electoral campaign in the Republic of Moldova. According to Smirnov, talks on OSCE’s support to Moldova’s Transnistrian settlement initiatives are part of the propagandistic arsenal. Transnistria seeks the settlement of the conflict on the basis of 80 documents signed by the two parties, having guarantors and mediators Russia, Ukraine and OSCE. "The Republic of Moldova is permanently rubbing us and this is everything we have at present." However, Smirnov was ready to support confidence-building measures between the two parties via specialised working groups. Speaking about situation in the "security zone", Smirnov said that Moldovan authorities have unilaterally refused in 2004 any cooperation between Moldovan and Transnistrian police forces.
- Speaking about the eventual meeting with President Voronin set for March, Smirnov said that he is not sure that it will take place. He assured that he supports the continuation of consultations, as "Tiraspol fulfils the promises made in front of Russia to hold such consultations," though Moldovan authorities are not constructive. "We have orally agreed to meet in March, as written accords are not respected. Transnistria is the only place for this meeting – either in Tiraspol, Bender or Dubasari, where the recognised state of Moldova killed our citizens. We did not assault Bessarabia. We defended ourselves. And we will negotiate our territory only. This is the historical truth… Negotiations with the Republic of Moldova will develop on the basis of results of the 2006 referendum, at which 98 percent of participants chose the development besides Russia."
- While Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was expected in Chisinau, the Russian Foreign Ministry has made public its visions regarding conditions to settle the Transnistrian conflict: equal rights to the parties – Chisinau and Tiraspol; agreement to give up unilateral solutions and other pressing measures; the necessity to settle all controversial issues through peaceful and political means exclusively shall help restore confidence in the region and make both sides take concrete actions. This approach makes useless and even detrimental the Voronin-Smirnov meeting scheduled before elections.
Transnistrian authorities accuse Moldova, gratify Russia for its support
- The administration of the Transnistrian Chamber of Commerce has accused Moldovan authorities of misinforming the CIS public opinion that it is allegedly assisting Transnistria. Yuri Ganin, deputy chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, said that the Republic of Moldova introduced a blockade on Transnistria in 2001 and hardened it after 2006. According to Ganin, Transnistrian exporters earned approximately 19 million dollars annually in 2007 and 2008 due to trade preferences granted by Moldova. But all railway communications of Transnistria are operated via the northern region of Moldova following 2006, so that exporters paid approximately 20 million dollars and lost about 5 million dollars, as Moldovan authorities refused services of Transnistrian motor carriers. Even more, Transnistrian exporters pay about 3 million dollars a year to Moldova for customs services. A more detailed calculation would prove that Transnistria would lose 35 million dollars a year, an amount which exceeds approximately twofold the benefits from Moldova’s preferences. The Republic of Moldova is an extortionist and mediator in Transnistria’s commercial relations with EU.
- According to the administration of the Transnistrian Railway Company (CFT), Moldovan authorities oppose to the resumption of railway traffic in Transnistria. Thus, the administration of the Railway Company of Moldova (CFM) insists on resumption of the traffic and cooperation with CFT accordingly to unacceptable conditions: the return of 13 engines and 297 trucks held at the Bender station by Transnistrians; convoying of trains by Moldovan transport police; controlling of passenger trains crossing the Transnistrian border by CFM personnel. After the railway traffic via Transnistria was ceased in March 2006, being described as an element of the blockade on the secessionist region, the circulation of trains was resumed on the "Chisinau-Moscow" route only, following the signing of an agreement in this respect between Moldova and Ukraine and Russia in December 2006. So far, there is no railway connection via Transnistria on Chisinau-Odessa, Chisinau-Sankt Petersburg, Chisinau-Minsk, Chisinau-Adler; Chisinau-Simferopol, Chisinau-Murmansk itineraries.
- Transnistrian deputy president Alexand Koroliov has stated in an interview with the Russian-language service of the radio station BBC that Transnistria-based economic agents suffer serious losses after the new customs regulations were introduced in March 2006. He exampled that Moldova is assisted by European and international organisations, but it does not share the aid with Transnistria, and the latter does not receive any aid from Moldova and faces only obstacles from this side. In reply, the Reintegration Ministry of Moldova has released a statement refuting declarations by the Transnistrian official and stressing that the Moldovan Government along with international institutions provided assistance worth about 40 million dollars to Transnistria in 2006–2008. In addition, the Government extends its national programmes on Transnistria as well, particularly in areas of economic, social development, healthcare, culture, humanitarian sector, etc.
- The Russian Federation has decided again to provide a "fraternal" financial aid to Transnistria. The assistance is a reaction to an appeal by the Tiraspol Supreme Soviet. This time, 40 million dollars will be transferred to Transnistria and this amount is 1.5-fold larger than the aid provided last year – 27.2 million dollars. Thus, pensions of Transnistrian retirees will be increased by 85 Transnistrian roubles (the equivalent to 15 dollars). According to data provided by the pension fund of Transnistria, the medium pension in the region is 313 roubles (about 36 dollars), which covers approximately 38.6 percent of the minimum consumer basket for retirees. Retirees count for ? of the Transnistrian population or 134,500 people.
- In the context of facts above, it is worth noting that Transnistrian authorities are implementing a programme on harmonisation of Transnistrian legislation to Russian laws. It stipulates the revision of at least 100 normative acts, and this is operated, in particular, by the Transnistrian justice ministry. Priority is given to fiscal, budgetary, arbitrage laws etc. The legislative harmonisation process is expected to be over by 2010.
Effects of international economic crisis on Transnistria
- While on a visit to Moscow, Transnistrian leader Igor Smirniov discussed with journalists on February 12. He estimated the situation in Transnistria, describing it as difficult but controllable due to compensations paid from budgetary resources with the social support of people. He noted that despite the international crisis, "living standards in Transnistria did not worsen at least. Major enterprises have operated; the average wage in the region was 244 dollars." Smirnov gratified Russia for the humanitarian and financial support provided to Transnistria, but hinted that Russia is obliged to help Transnistria, as 125,000 residents of the secessionist region hold Russian passports, 15,000 are about to receive them and another 25,000 are issuing necessary acts to apply for the Russian citizenship. Smirnov added that Transnistrian residents "have a Russian mentality, unlike Moldovans who have a Bessarabian mentality."
- According to accounts by the Reintegration Ministry of Moldova, exports from Transnistria decreased by 47.3 percent in January 2009, compared with the same month of 2008. In January 2009, exports by 35 Transnistria-based economic agents were worth 31.4 million dollars. Exports by metallurgical industry have fallen by 54 percent; light industry by 19 percent; engineering industry by 57.1 percent; spirits by 71.4 percent. Supplies of cement products were ceased completely. To note that 63.5 percent of Transnistrian exports go to EU member states and 14.7 percent to CIS. In January, electricity export, 84.9 percent of supplies by light industry and 47.5 percent of exports by metallurgical plants went to EU. Imports from Transnistria declined by 59.7 percent in January 2009, compared with the similar period of 2008, down to 2.9 million dollars.
Priorities of Transnistria’s foreign policy
On various occasions, Transnistrian foreign minister Vladimir Yastrebciak along with his deputy Serghey Simonenco has explained priorities of the foreign policy of the Tiraspol regime to the international media:
- Transnistria does not have plans to reintegrate into the Republic of Moldova;
- The recognition of independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which are part of the Union for Democracy and People’s Rights along with Transnistria, encourages the independence-seeking claims of Transnistria, since conflicts in all three regions had similar sources and, therefore, final solutions shall be similar as well;
- The EU and the U.S shall act in the limits of their status of observers and negotiations shall be held between Chisinau and Tiraspol;
- Relations with Russia and Ukraine have a strategic importance to Transnistria. Although Ukraine calls for the conflict resolution in the "5+2" format while Russia focuses on the bilateral dialogue between the parties, both guarantees call for equality of the conflicting sides;
- The "5+2" negotiation process is consultative and its importance should not be exaggerated;
- The Kremlin authorities will keep facilitating the awarding of Russian citizenship to Transnistrian residents and the Tiraspol administration will insist more on opening of Russian consulates in the region;
- Transnistrian authorities will keep doing their best for the international recognition of documents issued to citizens. In this respect, there are agreements signed by President Voronin and Igor Smirnov in May 2001, but Moldovan authorities ignore them;
- No special efforts are expected in the Transnistrian settlement process in the near future, particularly because of the parliamentary elections in Moldova;
- Consultations of expert groups on concrete issues such as external economic activity, healthcare will be a priority in the next period.
Viewpoint of former Romanian foreign minister Adrian Cioroianu
Russian and Transnistrian media outlets have widely commented the interview with former Romanian foreign minister Adrian Cioroianu published by the magazine Foreign Policy Romania. The former minister told his viewpoint about the Transnistrian settlement:
- The Moldovan presidential administration is ready to give green light to the "Russian scenario" on settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. But the long-term interests of Chisinau contravene to such a resolution;
- The Transnistrian conflict is the most efficient lever of Russia to maintain the Republic of Moldova in its area of influence. Formally maintaining Transnistria within borders of the Republic of Moldova is the best guarantee that it will not escape from Russia’s interests;
- Russia will keep checking the Chisinau administration via Transnistria, regardless of its colour in future;
- Moscow was never interested in the definitive resolution of the conflict, as tensions between the two banks of the Dniester River legalise its military presence in the region and this suits it;
- The Transnistrian regime is useful to Moscow inclusively in Russia’s relations with Ukraine;
- A solution for the Republic of Moldova would be to temporarily cut up Transnistria and keep it under a protectorship guaranteed by an international mandate, since the Republic of Moldova cannot guarantee alone the respect for its legal norms, democratisation and demilitarisation of the region;
- The cutting up would allow Moldova to focus on own European project, and Transnistria would have time to make a decision on own future.
Note by ADEPT: The solution to temporarily cut up Transnistria from the Republic of Moldova without recognising its independence was proposed in 2002 by Oleg Serebrian, then chairman of the Social Liberal Party (PSL). A similar solution was recommended in October 2007 by former presidential adviser Segiu Mocanu, who also insisted on the withdrawal of the border over the Dniester.
MGB protects regime against "chromatic revolution"
The investigative department of the Transnistrian security minister (MGB) has opened criminal charges against Sergei Kolerov, editor of the Russian website www.regnum.ru. The penal case investigates the article "Sindromul Stockholm – consecintele regionale a "razboiului gazelor" dintre Rusia si Ucraina" (Stockholm syndrome – regional consequences of the "gas war" between Russia and Ukraine). The writer did not like the policy of Transnistrian authorities aimed to balance influences and interests of Russia and Ukraine in the region. Kolerov said that since Russia helps Transnistria on diverse ways, the foreign policy of the secessionist region should be unequivocally pro-Russia; otherwise the Transnistrian governing should be changed on a "revolutionary" way inclusively. In this regard, the MGB accused Kolerov of calling for subversion of the state authority in Transnistria. On February 10, MGB officers searched the former regional editorial office of REGNUM in Tiraspol, without taking into account the fact that the agency has moved long ago, and seized information carriers of the magazine Partner published by the Transnistrian Chamber of Commerce. Transnistrian leader Igor Smirnov commented this case, saying that he does not get involved in investigations, but noted that he received the owner of this website, Modest Kolerov, in Tiraspol some years ago. Korolev was then the adviser of President Vladimir Putin "for relations with compatriots". According to Smirnov "nobody has ever felt the effects of his activity, but now Kolerov instigates to a chromatic revolution." Given these facts, it is worth to note that the Transnistrian Republican Bank has taken revenge against REGNUM by refusing to provide information about remittances by Transnistrian guest workers for 2008.
Note by ADEPT: Smirnov is wrong when he claims that Korolev’s activity did not have any impact. The network of PRORIV movements from Transnistria, Crimea, Ossetia and Abkhazia is the masterpiece of Kolerov. These movements were created in 2005, after the series of "chromatic revolutions" in the CIS area, and aimed to oppose to the wave generated by "chromatic revolutions" by promoting pro-Russia actions. The destiny’s irony is that initiators of movements against chromatic revolutions threaten to hold an eventual chromatic revolution. Why would not remember the saying "digging for serendipity!"
EU releases new technical assistance project for Moldova
On February 2, 2009, the European Commission launched a new technical assistance project for Moldova funded by the European Union – "Support to export promotion and investment attraction in the Republic of Moldova". Beneficiaries of the project will be the Ministry of Economy and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry of Moldova. The project aims to encourage domestic companies to export to foreign markets, inclusively by consolidating support agencies such as the Moldovan Investment and Export Promotion Organisation (MIEPO); training personnel of testing laboratories to introduce recognised quality standards; establishing partnerships; attracting foreign investments in Moldova. The 1.6-million-Euro project has a 2-year term and will be implemented by GFA Consulting Group (Germany) in consortium with IDI company (Ireland).
Republic of Moldova – Hungary
On February 11, 2009, Valeriu Ostalep, deputy minister of foreign affairs and European integration, was on a working visit to Budapest and met there Matyas Eorsi, chairman of the Commission for European Affairs of the Hungarian Parliament, and officials of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, in particular, Gabor Szentivany, state secretary and political director, and Mihaly Bayer, ambassador with special missions of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry.
Bilateral talks focussed on the following issues: Moldova’s priorities for negotiating the new agreement with the EU and Hungary’s readiness to provide the necessary assistance to Moldova in the process of preparation for negotiations; energy security in the region and development of energy projects, including NABUCCO; bilateral economic cooperation and development of partnerships within EU programmes. (according to MFAEI)
Republic of Moldova – Council of Europe
On February 10, 2009, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) pronounced a decision on
Iordachi and others vs. Moldova. The Court decided that the Moldovan legislation does not ensure an adequate protection against abuses by state authorities in terms of interception of telephone conversations, and sentenced Moldova for violation of right to private life and family (Article 8 ECHR). The Court granted 3,500 Euros in costs and expenses. (Source: www.lhr.md)
Republic of Moldova – OSCE
During February 10–12, Moldova was visited by a delegation from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE/PA) led by PA President Joao Soares. During the visit, the delegation has met high-ranking officials of Moldovan Government and Parliament, Tiraspol officials, CEC chairman Eugeniu Stirbu and representatives of political parties and civil society. The visit agenda of the OSCE/PA delegation focussed on two topics: the preparation and conduct of the April 5, 2009 elections and the Transnistrian settlement process.
Joao Soares stressed the importance of a transparent, free and fair electoral process in conditions of a fair access to the media, equal possibilities to make electoral propaganda and fair proceedings for all electoral contestants. In particular, the OSCE/PA president raised concern with intimidation of opposition parties by law enforcement bodies in the electoral period, cases he has learned about during his visit. Mr. Soares assured that the OSCE will investigate all these cases and the April 5 elections will be seriously discredited, should these cases be confirmed.
Republic of Moldova – Central European Initiative (CEI)
During February 9–10, 2009, CEI Secretary-General Pierro Ercole Ago was on a working visit to Moldova, as the Moldovan CEI Chairmanship is over. The visit aimed at discussing accomplishments by the Moldovan Chairmanship and Moldova’s further plans within CEI.
During the visit, Mr. Pieero Ercole Ago has attended a meeting of National Focal Points (representatives of state institutions) which were in charge with working out projects in diverse sectoral areas in 2008. Participants discussed mechanisms of cooperation with CEI and funding priorities of CEI for 2009, with the CEI secretary-general calling for a more active participation of the Network of CEI Focal Points in CEI-held sectoral activities. (according to MAEIE)
Republic of Moldova – CIS
Shortly after programme of the Moldova’s Presidency in the CIS was launched in Minsk (30 January 2009), the executive secretary and chairman of the CIS Executive Committee, Sergey Lebedev, paid an working visit to Chisinau on February 9–10. During the visit, Mr. Lebedev was received by President Vladimir Voronin and met Premier Zinaida Greceanii, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Andrei Stratan and the chairman of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Gheorghe Duca, all members to the national commission for ensuring the Moldovan Chairmanship in CIS. The sides thoroughly discussed the programme of the Moldovan CIS Presidency and the agenda of meetings of CIS structures. Lebedev indicated the necessity to meet the decision by the Council of CIS Heads of State on institution of National Coordinators. In his turn, Vladimir Voronin invited CIS observers to monitor the parliamentary elections on April 5, 2009.
1 They will coordinate the activity of local governmental bodies in charge with implementation of CIS decisions.
Studies, Analyses, Comments
Ballots of Moldovan citizens from Transnistrian region
Igor Botan, 14 February 2009
After the independence of the Republic of Moldova was declared, Moldovan authorities could not make conditions to organise elections in the eastern rayons from the left bank of the Dniester controlled by the separatist administration. The latter has constantly resisted, claiming that Transnistria would be an independent state