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Democracy and governing in Moldova
e-journal, year VII, issue 148, 16–30 November, 2009
Activity of Public Institutions
Activity of Public Institutions
1. Appointments. Dismissals
Four legal professors, Vasile Cretu, Alexandru Arsene, Igor Dolea and Boris Negru, were appointed members of the Superior Council of Magistracy.
The nominal composition of the Moldovan Parliament’s delegation to the Interparliamentary Assembly of the CIS Member States was approved.
Victor Ciubotaru was relieved from the office of first deputy chairman of the National Bank of Moldova upon his request.
2. Legislative acts
Law on ratification, accession to international agreements:
- The Moldova-Portugal Agreement concerning cooperation in the tourism sector;
- The International Commission on Civil Status Convention 20 on the issue of a certificate of legal capacity to marry;
- The International Labour Organisation Promotional Framework No. 187 concerning the occupational safety and health;
- The protocol concerning the introduction of changes in the agreement on exemption of customs duties, taxes and issue of special permits to carry normative documents, labels, measuring means, label samples transported for metrological checking and attestation.
Decision approving the budget of the National Commission of Financial Market for 2010. The budget will be made of incomes worth 10.1 million lei, expenses worth 13.6 million lei, and a deficit of 3.5 million lei, covered from the balance account for January 1, 2010.
Draft law concerning the modification and completion of some legislative acts (concerning the notary system). It recommends the dissolution of the institution of state attorneys, saying that it runs counter principles of Latin notary and produces inefficient public expenses, as well as possible damages for the state. State notaries will be able to turn into public notaries upon own demand.
Note by ADEPT: The PCRM faction has criticised the draft, invoking the necessity of ensuring access of rural population to accessible-price notary services, and eventual expenses related to imminent reorganisations.
Draft law for ratification of the state budget for 2009. According to updated macroeconomic forecasts, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will account for 59.5 billion lei in 2009, which is by 9 percent less than in 2008, though the Government has previously planned a 6-percent growth. As of October 31, 2009, the national public budget deficit amounted to 2.8 billion lei, compared with the expected annual deficit of 574 million lei. Given the results of execution of the national public budget in the first ten months and forecasted macroeconomic indicators for 2009, the national public budget for 2009 is estimated at incomes worth about 22.5 billion lei, expenses in the amount of about 27.8 billion lei and a deficit worth about 5.3 billion lei, which will count for approximately 9 percent of GDP at the end of the year. Following rises and reductions of spending, the state budget expenses are by 560 million lei or 3.1 percent lower than planned for the 2009 budget. Expenses on basic component decrease by 350 million lei, projects funded from external sources by 529 million lei, expenses of special means and funds increase by 352.48 million lei. The state debt balance will amount to 16,605,000,000 lei on December 31, 2009. The deficit will be funded from internal sources such as issue of state securities worth 1,600,000,000 lei and external sources worth 3,730,000,000 lei overall.
Draft law for completion of some legislative acts (concerning the execution system). It aims to optimise the system of execution of judicial decisions by providing a free access to state registers needed for the execution of forced execution measures.
Draft law for modification of the Article 54 of the Contravention Code. It aims to remove from the Code the expulsion penalty for violation of legislation on religious denominations. The initiative is related to the ECHR practice (case of Bessarabian Metropolitan Church and Others vs. Moldova).
3. Parliamentary control. Statements
Minister of foreign affairs and European integration has notified parliamentarians that the Republic of Moldova refrains from voting the United Nations Resolution condemning the neo-Nazi manifestations. According to minister, the decision to refrain from voting this resolution was made by Government in 2005 and reconfirmed in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and therefore, PCRM should know the reasons and arguments. The refrain vote was related to the misbalance in the final text which does not cover enough the editing proposals raised by some delegations and concerns with the fair approach of racial practices, and it does not have any connection with the proper description of neo-Nazi movements.
PCRM Deputy Svetlana Rusu has asked explanations to the statement by health minister that he will dismiss all communists from the Health Ministry.
PCRM parliamentarian Igor Vremea has demanded information regarding the measures taken in connection with the November 7 conflict in Cahul district, which involved the Special Unit Fulger.
PL legislator Valeriu Munteanu has asked details regarding allegations that former governmental officials embezzled large amounts of money to buy residences for themselves.
PL parliamentarian Gheorghe Brega has demanded information in connection with violations in management of funds by the National Health Insurance Company assessed by the Chamber of Auditors.
PLDM legislator Angel Agache sought details about actions taken by authorities in connection with the libellous contestation of the PLDM registration, lists of heard citizens and legal organs which heard them.
The PCRM has read a statement disagreeing with plans to revise the Constitution of the Republic of Moldova and electoral legislation.
PL Deputy Mihai Ghimpu has presented a statement on mafia schemes in imports of meat, fish and other products.
1. Appointments. Dismissals
- Andrei Popov, Parliament member (PDM faction), was assigned deputy minister of foreign affairs and European integration;
- Victor Barbaneagra was nominated deputy minister of finance;
- Sergiu Ciobanu and Ilarion Popa were appointed deputy ministers of economy;
- Lucia Spoiala was nominated director of the National Bureau of Statistics;
- Vasile Grama was appointed director of the Agency for Land Relations and Cadastre;
- Ludmila Dumitras was assigned director of the Tourism Agency;
- Ion Apostol and Corneliu Mirza were nominated deputy ministers of environment;
- Tatiana Potinga and Loreta Handrabura were appointed deputy ministers of education;
- Gheorghe Postica was assigned deputy minister of culture;
- Ana Vasilachi and Vadim Pistrinciuc were nominated deputy ministers of labour, social protection and family;
- Mihai Magdei and Gheorghe Turcan were appointed deputy ministers of health;
- Nicolae Andronache and Oleg Tulea were assigned deputy ministers of youth and sport;
- Dona Scola was nominated deputy minister of information technologies and communication;
- Eduard Banaruc was appointed deputy state minister;
- Gheorghe Arpentin, Stefan Chitoroaga and Vasile Bumacov were assigned deputy ministers of agriculture and food industry;
- Dumitru Ursachi was nominated deputy interior minister;
- Gheorghe Susarenco was appointed deputy minister of justice.
The Government has relieved from officesthe following public servants:
- Nicolae Esanu (deputy minister of justice);
- Galina Bulat (deputy minister of education);
- Ion Munteanu (deputy minister of culture);
- Oleg Lozan (deputy minister of health);
- Vladimir Golovatiuc (director-general of the National Bureau of Statistics).
Decision approving the economic stabilisation and recovery programme for 2009–2011. The document focusses on three priorities: stabilising and optimising public funds; redressing economic activities; ensuring an efficient social protection. It foresees higher excise taxes for luxury cars, cigarettes and spirits; higher income taxes on gambling gains; lighter administrative and fiscal burden for business development; facilitated access for entrepreneurs to funds to start up and develop business and stimulated public and private investments. Costs of anti-crisis actions stipulated by the programme are estimated at about 10 billion lei.
Decision concerning the Small Border Traffic Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the Government of Romania. It approves the agreement signed in Bucharest on November 13, 2009, and MFAEI jointly with the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communication and Border Guard Service will take necessary measures to enforce the Agreement.
Decision concerning working days and days-off for December 2009 and January-March 2010. Under the decision, December 25, 2009, and January 4–6, 2010 are days-off, and Saturdays of December 19, 2009, January 16, 2010, February 13, 2010 and March 13, 2010 are working days.
Decision approving the quantum of average monthly wage on economy forecasted for 2010. The forecasted quantum is 2,950 lei.
3. Sittings. Decisions
Selection of members of the National Council for Participation
The Government has proposed the establishing of the National Council for Participation to consult civil society, business environment and academia in the process of drafting, enforcing, monitoring, assessing and updating of strategic planning policies of the country. The National Council for Participation will function under auspices of Prime Minister and will focus on two components: the participation in drafting, monitoring and assessing of national policies; the building of an advisory institutional framework at level of central public authorities.
Note by ADEPT: A similar council was set up on summer 2008, but its functioning was suspended.
Totals of visit to Bucharest
Prime minister has reported:
- He attended the Summit of the Heads of Government of the Central European Initiative (CEI) Member States;
- He had bilateral meetings with heads of the Czech and Polish delegations, President of the European Investment Bank and President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, within the CEI Summit;
- Within the working visit after the CEI Summit he had bilateral meetings with President of Romania, Chairperson of the Romanian Senate, Chairperson of the Chamber of Deputies and incumbent Prime Minister of Romania;
- He had meetings with Moldovan students from Romania, foreign businessmen and investors;
- The Small Border Traffic Agreement between Governments of Romanian and Republic of Moldova was signed. Following documents were signed at level of foreign ministers: the Agreement between Governments of Romania and Republic of Moldova concerning border crossing stations at the Romania-Moldova state border; the protocol on amendment of the mutual investment promotion and protection agreement between Governments of Romania and Republic of Moldova;
- It was decided within the visit: to resume talks at level of experts with the view to sign basic and border agreements/treaties between Republic of Moldova and Romania, organise joint sittings of Moldovan and Romanian Governments (eventually twice a year), open Romanian consulates in Balti and Cahul and a Moldovan consulate in Iasi as soon as possible, arranging and (re)opening other bridges over Proute destroyed during World War II.
Situation of winemaking and vine growing businesses
The Government-hosted sitting focussed on situation in the vine growing and winemaking sector, existing problems and necessary solutions. The participants noted that most serious problems are related to stocks of wines, lack of markets and debts towards commercial banks. Prime minister reported Government’s efforts in this area: cancellation of the state trademark for vine exports; approach of export-related issues with Ukrainian and Russian premiers etc.
Moldova’s President has signed a decree nominating new members of the Supreme Security Council:
- Iurie Richicinschi, head of the Supreme Security Council Service of the Presidential Administration (secretary);
- Anatolie Salaru, minister of transport and road infrastructure (member);
- Dorin Dragutan, Governor of the National Bank (member).
The "Honour Order" was awarded to:
- Alexandru Oleinic, minister of information technologies and communication;
- Alecu Renita, chairman of the Ecologic Movement of Moldova, director of the periodical "Natura";
- Krzysztof Suprowicz, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Poland to Republic of Moldova.
Singer Dan Balan was nominated "Master of Art".
Semion Ropot, deputy manager of the state-run enterprise "Monitorul Oficial", was nominated "Emeritus Man".
Decrees recalling certain ambassadors of Moldova:
- Lidia Gutu (ambassador to Bulgaria);
- Ion Robu (ambassador to Azerbaijan and Georgia);
- Valerian Cristea (ambassador to the Czech Republic);
- Victoria Iftodi (ambassador to France);
- Eugenia Kistruga (resident representative to the Council of Europe);
- Valeriu Bobutac (ambassador to Belarus).
1. Labour market
Positive statistics over difficult times…
According to BNS data, the average monthly wage on economy amounted to about 2,700 lei (245 dollars) in January-October 2009 and increased by nearly 9 percent, compared with the similar period of the last year. The real wage in the period concerned increased by 9 percent. The average salary in budgetary sector of economy accounted for 2,341 lei (213 dollars) and increased by 22 percent, compared with the similar period of 2008, while average wage in real sector amounted to about 2,903 lei (264 dollars) and rose by 5 percent, compared with the similar period of the last year.
The average remuneration of a worker in October was 2,686 lei (244 dollars). In comparison with October 2008, the average monthly wage has increased by about 3 percent and real salary by 4.6 percent. The average wage in real sector amounted to 2,890 lei (263 dollars), and decreased a little compared with last year. The medium salary in budgetary sector amounted to 2,334 lei (212 dollars) and increased by more than 13 percent compared with the similar period 2008. Diagram 1 reveals the share in percent of average wages in different sectors in the average salary on economy.
Diagram 1. Medium wages on sectors, in % of the average on economy (Jan.-Oct. 2009)
Source: BNS data and estimates by author
The average wage on economy in 2010 is expected to amount to 2,950 lei, by 200 lei more than expected by authorities this year. According to forecasts, the average monthly wage will amount to 2,750 lei by the end of this year.
2. Banking system
Difference of interests on credits and deposits is relatively big on system…
Banks do not reduce the interest rates on credits proportionally with the reduction of interests on deposits on background of some relatively instable situations in banking sector. The difference of interests between credits and deposits has increased more than 2.5 fold this year, as the interest rate on deposits grew faster than on credits, both in lei and in foreign currency. Five out of 15 certified banks were suffering losses after nine months, while incomes on banking system have dropped ten fold, so that banks try to enhance their profit, and lowering the interest rate on deposits quicker than on credits is the easiest way to do it, according to financial analysts and bankers.
Profitableness and shareholder capital indicators have seriously fallen. The share of disadvantageous credits in overall loans has increased more than twofold, up to about 13 percent in late September. As well, the margin between interests on credits and deposits in lei has increased up to 8.27 percentage points, from about three percentage points in the first two months. The difference between interest rates on credits and deposits in foreign currency has deepened much, from 1.39 percentage points in January and 2.39 percentage points in February up to 7.01 percentage points in September.
In spite of relatively more discouraging appearances for depositors, the latter keep making savings in banks. In particular, new forward deposits of people went up to 2.53 billion lei (230 million dollars) in September, and exceeded a little the savings for August. One may just suppose the level of deposits, if the rates recorded early this year were maintained. After having got large available liquidity, the banks cannot afford any longer to lend expensive loans, which borrowed by businesses and individuals would be surprising. (www.businessexpert.md)
3. Real sector
Industry is on the decline…
Formal data reveal that all industrial enterprises manufactured production worth over 18.44 billion lei (1.67 billion dollars) in current prices in January-October 2009. The industrial output index was 75.9 percent in comparable prices compared with January-October 2008 (this indicator was 75.7 percent in January-September 2009). This indicator was 77.4 percent in October 2009, compared with October 2008.
The decline in industrial output, compared with the similar period of 2008, was linked to the fall in production of extractive industry by 32.2 percent, processing industry by 26 percent, energy industry by 4.8 percent, which reduced the overall production volume by 0.6 percent, 23 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.
The decline in overall industrial output in the period concerned was linked to the fall suffered by enterprises manufacturing non-ferrous goods (glass, cement, chalk and plaster, concrete, plastic and cement items etc.) by 41.6 percent (they cover 9.7 percent of overall industrial output); enterprises manufacturing clothes by 14.2 percent (hold a share of 9.6 percent); winemaking by 23.9 percent (share of 7.1 percent); dairy making by 8.9 percent (share of 5.5 percent); producing, processing and canning of meat and meat products by 21.4 percent (share of 4.5 percent); fruit and vegetable processing and canning by 39.0 percent (share of 3.5 percent), manufacturing of distilled spirits, textiles etc.
EUBAM criticised by Transnistrian authorities
The customs committee of Transnistria has expressed anger that the European Union Border Assistance Mission (EUBAM) does not help resuming customs cooperation between competent institutions of the Republic of Moldova and Transnistria. As occasion to reiterate the negative attitude towards EUBAM was the fact that the latter does not accredit Transnistrian customs representatives to its briefings, nor does it attend those convoked by Transnistrian authorities. In reply to this accusation, EUBAM representatives stressed possibilities to facilitate cooperation between customs services of the Republic of Moldova. As well, it noted that it was tried to build a framework to let representatives of the two customs services tell their opinions and propose solutions for cooperation. EUBAM plays a certain role in the Transnistrian settlement to encourage customs services of the parties to ensure the circulation of goods and citizens from the two banks of the Dniester.
Transnistrian authorities seek withdrawal of Moldovan police forces from Bender
During the November 19 sitting of the Joint Control Commission (CUC) demanded (as usually) the approaching of functioning of Moldovan police forces in the municipality of Bender. According to Transnistrian representatives, the Moldovan police forces destabilise the work of municipal administrative organs and provoke tensions among citizens. They allege that the Moldovan police provoked the "military aggression" from 1992, which would explain the negative attitude of Bender residents over policemen, whose number is now several fold higher than set in 1992 in line with the agreement on the peaceful resolution principles of the military conflict. According to CUC members on behalf of Transnistria, the operative investigation team set in 1992 had completed its mission long ago and there is no reason to keep the Transnistrian militia and Moldovan police working in parallel in Bender municipality. In this context, the Bender municipal soviet decided to ban the activity of police in the municipality. The CUC co-chairman on behalf of Transnistria, Oleg Beleacov, insists that the Transnistrian and Moldovan police forces to work in the security zone upon territorial principle. In his turn, a CUC representative on behalf of Chisinau stated that talks on this issue do not have any perspective.
Efforts to smooth away constitutional conflict
The conflict between the Supreme Soviet and presidential administration related to adoption of a new constitution in Transnistria was temporarily ceased to reach a compromise. The Supreme Soviet demanded the establishing of a conciliation commission on parity basis to facilitate the finding of a compromise aimed to harmonise Transnistrian regulations with Russian constitutional norms. But so far, there are many unanswered questions related to establishing of the commission and its functioning, and issues regarding the document to be jointly issued – the text of a new constitution or amendments to Title III on the functioning of public institutions of the current constitution – are still unclear. In these circumstances, pressure groups and organisations affiliated to the Smirnov administration have released again the propagandistic initiative. Thus, the united council of staffs will collect 15,000 signatures by December 25 in order to be able to hold a referendum on adoption of the constitution drafted by Smirnov’s administration.
Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (EP CSF)
About 240 civil society representatives from the six beneficiaries of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), as well as from the EU member states, international organisations, representatives of European institutions etc. attended the first Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in Brussels on November 16–17. The forum aims to facilitate dialogue and cooperation between civil society representatives and governments in the six partner countries of the Eastern Partnership and the EU member states with European institutions, with the view to reach a complete achievement of the Eastern Partnership’s economic and social development and good governance objectives of the countries concerned. Taking part in the forum on behalf of Moldova were 20 civil society representatives, with two of them, Natalia Cojohari (from CNTM) and Sorin Mereacre (from Eurasia Moldova Foundation), being elected to the EPSCF Steering Committee. The forum engaged in discussions within the four thematic platforms working on:
- Democracy, human rights, good governance and stability;
- Economic integration and convergence with EU policies;
- Environment, climate change and energy security;
- Contacts between people.
Recommendations will be tabled to foreign ministers from Eastern Partnership partner countries who will meet in Brussels on December 8. The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum will meet annually to advise and monitor the Eastern Partnership activity, and the EP SCF Steering Committee will be in charge with the current operation between meetings.
Visit of European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy to Chisinau
Mrs. Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, was on a working visit to Chisinau on November 26–27. While on visit, Benita Ferrero-Waldner met acting President and Parliament Speaker Mihai Ghimpu; Prime Minister Vlad Filat; Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Iurie Leanca; presidential candidate Marian Lupu; members of the opposition and civil society representatives. During meetings with Moldovan officials and parliamentarians, the European commissioner delivered a supporting message to the Republic of Moldova on behalf of the European Union, stressing the EU interest to accelerate the development of relations with Moldova, by using at maximum the opportunities provided by the European Partnership. According to the European commissioner, the first priority is the negotiation of a new agreement, which should include among others the aim of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area between Moldova and the EU. If Moldova demonstrates that it is willing and able to comply with the commitments arising out of the negotiations, the EU will propose to name this new legal basis for their relations an ‘Association Agreement. The liberalisation of visa requirements for Moldovans is a long-term goal, but the beginning of negotiations on this issue will be discussed at the next sitting of the EU-Moldova Cooperation Council on December 21.
As well, Benita Ferrero-Waldner expressed the EU readiness to provide the technical and financial assistance needed by Moldova to strengthen democratic reforms and redress consequences of economic crisis. The EU will initially provide a democracy support package worth 4 million Euros for parliamentary cooperation and a budgetary support package worth 26 million Euros. Moldova will further enjoy a macro-financial assistance package in addition to the credit to the future IMF agreement.
As well, the European commissioner reiterated that bringing Moldova closer to the EU and even providing a European prospect will depend on country’s capacity to implement reforms and respect commitments towards EU.
Meeting of the EU-Moldova COPS Troika
Brussels hosted the meeting of the EU-Moldova COPS (Political and Security Committee) Troika on November 25. The Moldovan delegation was led by Natalia Gherman, deputy minister of foreign affairs and European integration. The meeting agenda included issues relating to latest political and economic developments in Moldova, EU-Moldova dialogue, Transnistrian settlement process and cooperation with EUBAM. The Moldovan delegation explained the short-term goals of Moldova-EU relations: negotiation of a new Moldova-EU agreement under the shape of an Association Agreement, which would address the consolidated approaching to the EU by re-dimensioning of political dialogue, establishing of a free trade area, extending sectoral cooperation and subordinating contacts in the area of rule of law and interior affairs to the visa liberalisation objective.
2nd High-Level Meeting of Mobility Partnership
The 2nd High-Level Meeting of Mobility Partnership took place in Brussels on November 23.The key goal of the meeting was to assess results achieved during the first year of implementation of the Mobility Partnership signed on June 5, 2008. The Moldovan delegation was led by Natalia Gherman, deputy minister of foreign affairs and European integration. Among the results mentioned were the projects to strengthen capacities of national authorities to implement the best European practices and standards on migration and asylum, development of projects to encourage the comeback and reintegrate migrant workers into the national labour market, as well as development of domestic labour market and strengthening of relations with Moldovan communities, and achievements relating to border management and security of documents. The European Commission welcomed the determination of Moldovan authorities to seize the opportunities provided by the Mobility Partnership to complete and support Government’s efforts to liberalise the visa regime.
As well, the meeting identified new directions for the immediate period in the framework of the Partnership: reducing consequences of migration in healthcare sector, building a migration profile and using it to draft national policies, new initiatives of EU member states within the European Commission’s Thematic Programme on circular migration, combating trafficking in human beings, consolidating Moldovan communities abroad and establishing cooperation with origin country. (According to Moldpres)
2. Bilateral cooperation
Republic of Moldova – Romania
According to statements delivered by Deputy Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Iurie Leanca at the news conference on November 26, 2009, Moldova’s relations with Romania have been thawed. The visit of Prime Minister Vlad Filat to Bucharest on November 14 and the signing of the three bilateral agreements come to confirm the minister’s statements. In addition, unlike former Chisinau authorities, the acting Government has given green light to the opening in the Republic of Moldova of 13 polling stations for Romanian presidential elections, and the Moldovan Government approved the Small Border Traffic Agreement between Governments of Moldova and Romania on November 18. The Romanian side gives positive signals as well. The Romanian Government decided at the November 25 sitting to table a legislative initiative to the Romanian Parliament aimed to provide a 100-million-leu irredeemable financial assistance to Moldova and a free emergency assistance of 4,000,000 doses of pandemic vaccines.
Note by ADEPT: Romanian press have intensively alleged that some actions of the Bucharest authorities over Moldova (e. g. modification of the law on citizenship by facilitating the citizenship awarding procedure for Moldovan citizens) have rather an electoral nature and are not part of a development programme on bilateral relations, the doubling this year of consular fee for Moldovan citizens willing to get Romanian stay permits being a proof in this respect.
Republic of Moldova – Russia
The Moldovan authorities continued efforts to "normalise" relations with the Russian Federation in the period concerned. The meeting between Russian and Moldovan prime ministers which took place in Yalta on November 20, as part of the Council of CIS Heads of Government made clear existing problems in bilateral relations such as relating to Moldovan exports to Russia, staying of Moldovan emigrants in the Russian Federation, supply of Russian natural gas. As well, the sides discussed matters relating to the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict in the 5+2 format and the 150-million-dollar Russian credit. According to Prime Minister Filat, the final decision on the Russian credit will be made after technical negotiations. Following the talks in Yalta, Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Valeriu Cosarciuc was on a working visit to Moscow on November 26 and considered with the head of the Russian sanitary inspection "Rospotrebnadzor", Gennady Onishchenko, issues related to removal of barriers on way of Moldovan agricultural exports to Russia. It was decided after the talks to open 6 more customs terminals for supply of Moldovan products to Russia (the first two will open in Briansk and Sankt Petersburg) and allowing another 45 enterprises in addition to the 36 existing businesses to export wines to Russia. Instead, the latter will be lifted from discriminatory monitoring regime. Another result of the Yalta discussions was consular consultations between Foreign Ministries of Moldova and Russia in Chisinau on November 26. According to a MFAEI press release, the agenda of consultations included issues related to enforcement of consular treaties and conventions, but a special attention was paid to the staying of Moldovan citizens in the Russian Federation, repatriation of unaccompanied children, fight against illegal migration and trafficking in human beings. After the talks the Russian side expressed readiness to consider the possibility to free Moldovan citizens from obligation to get registered in the Russian Federation if they stay no longer than 90 days, as well as to start negotiation of a draft agreement on cooperation in the area of repatriation of victims of trafficking in human beings, trafficking in children, illegal trafficking of migrants, unaccompanied children and migrants in need.
Republic of Moldova – Ukraine
The Republic of Moldova continued its efforts in reviving the relations with Ukraine and in overcoming the existing problems in bilateral relations, through high-level meetings; a meeting between the Moldovan and Ukrainian prime ministers in Yalta within the Council of CIS Heads of Government and Moldovan-Ukrainian inter-ministerial consultations at the level of Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs held in Kiev. According to a government press release issued after the meeting in Yalta, the Moldovan Prime-Minister, Vlad Filat and the Ukranian Prime-Minister Yiulia Tymoshenko agreed on reducing transit taxes on Moldovan alcoholic beverages for passing through Ukrainian territory, and on ensuring the free movement of Moldovan citizens within the territory of Ukraine, by cancelling the obligation imposed by Ukraine on Moldovan citizens to hold Euro 1100 when crossing border. Subsequently, on November 30, Andrei Popov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, participated in Moldovan-Ukrainian consultations that tried to find compromise formulas to a series of bilateral issues: the border demarcation (including the case of Palanca), issues related the Moldovan property on Ukrainian territory, environmental cooperation in the Dniester River Basin, resuming the activity of the Intergovernmental Commission on trade and economic cooperation, the definitive cancellation of financial guarantees for Moldovan citizens crossing Ukrainian territory. It also focussed on issues of the EU-Moldova- Ukraine trilateral cooperation, including within the Eastern Partnership.
Republic of Moldova – Italy
The deputy prime minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Iurie Leanca was on a working visit to Rome on November 24 and met there Italian officials and representatives of the Moldovan community in Italy. Following a bilateral meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, the latter assured that Italy is ready to play "a crucial role" in promoting the European path of the Republic of Moldova, especially in negotiating a visa liberalisation agreement. According to a Moldpres press release, Franco Frattini highly appreciated the cooperation of Moldovan communities from Italy, saying that the Italian side will begin preparations to negotiate an agreement on social protection of Moldovan nationals from Italy with the Chisinau authorities. With the view to deepen and diversify commercial-economic cooperation between Moldova and Italy, a Moldovan-Italian business forum will be shortly organised in Chisinau.
3. Multilateral cooperation
Republic of Moldova – Council of Europe
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has pronounced decisions on the following applications in the period concerned: Flux vs. Moldova (No. 7) and Ipteh SA and Others vs. Moldova. In the first case the Court established violation of the freedom of expression and awarded 12.25 Euros (state tax) to the applicant in pecuniary damages, 3,000 Euros in non-pecuniary damages and 1,800 Euros in costs and expenses. As for the second application, the Court established violation of the right to a fair trial and right to property and is due to set the modality and size of damages at a next sitting.
Republic of Moldova – CIS
Yalta hosted the meeting of the Council of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Independent States on November 20. The meeting agenda included 26 issues, particularly economic matters, of them most important were cooperation of CIS member states against consequences of the financial-economic crisis, optimisation of cooperation in energy sector, development of transport corridors in the region, development of cooperation in innovation area, etc. Vlad Filat told a news conference after the meeting that Moldova will fulfil all commitments within CIS and stressed the importance of commercial-economic cooperation within this organisation. The Russian Federation will take over the CIS Presidency on January 1, 2010 and the next Summit of the CIS Heads of Government is set for May 21, 2010 in Moscow.