Thursday

21st Jan 2021

Moldova communists stage anti-EU rallies

  • Voronin: Both for and against the EU treaty (Photo: European Commission)

Moldova’s opposition Communist Party leader and former president, Vladimir Voronin, has said the country should join Russia's Customs Union instead of sealing an EU pact.

The 72-year old delivered his anti-EU tirade in Chisinau on Monday (25 November).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

“Moldova can become a European country only by joining the Customs Union, which will give its people many opportunities for full-fledged development of their homeland,” he said, according to the Russian-state backed daily, The Voice of Russia.

He also called on the country’s pro-EU coalition to step down due to corruption.

Voronin spoke amid an outbreak of anti-EU protests over the weekend.

Some 15,000 people reportedly demonstrated against the EU pact in the Moldovan capital on Saturday. Voronin said they intend to also picket EU member states' embassies and a European Commission office.

The protests come about two weeks after a pro-EU rally is said to have gathered 50,000 people or more.

The coalition is aiming to initial a political association and free trade agreement with the EU at a summit in Vilnius on Thursday.

They are also hoping to get EU countries and MEPs' support for EU visa-free travel.

Meanwhile, Voronin's statement contradicts what he told EUobserver in Chisinau earlier this month.

“I am declaring that we will never turn our back to the European Union,” he told this website in his office, which is adorned with Soviet-era memorabilia.

He noted that he and Russian leader Vladimir Putin had in recent years exchanged letters in which Putin backed Moldova's EU integration.

But he added that Moldova "won't join" the EU for "20 or 30 years" and that it needs "to deal with modernisation today."

Voronin's statement on Monday comes a few days after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said No to EU integration, citing Russian pressure.

It also comes a few weeks after Russia strong-armed Armenia into ditching its EU pact.

The Ukrainian decision has the potential to cost Moldova dearly.

The two countries share a long border, but if they join opposing trade blocs in the coming years, day-to-day trade will be put at risk.

Opinion

Gagauzia: A new attack on the Eastern Partnership?

In Gagauzia, a part of Moldova which few people have heard of, a referendum on Sunday saw an overwhelming vote in favour of joining Russia’s Customs Union instead of EU integration.

News in Brief

  1. Brexit prompted finance exodus from UK to France
  2. Italian PM Conte wins confidence vote in Senate
  3. Borrell washes hands of EU's Venezuela policy
  4. Russia backs Greece in eastern Mediterranean dispute
  5. 'Ski-holiday' Switzerland reaches new infection high
  6. Germany extends lockdown, others expected to follow
  7. Barnier to be Brexit special adviser to von der Leyen
  8. EU commisioner to visit Bosnia's Lipa migrant camp

Opinion

The under-reported power struggle at the top of the OSCE

An internal power struggle has undermined the world's leading international security body since the summer. The OSCE is due to finally get new leaders in December but the unprecedented power vacuum has hit at a crunch time for hotspots worldwide.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  2. CESIKlaus Heeger and Romain Wolff re-elected Secretary General and President of independent trade unions in Europe (CESI)
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersReport: The prevalence of men who use internet forums characterised by misogyny
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic climate debate on 17 November!
  6. UNESDAMaking healthier diets the easy choice

Latest News

  1. MEPs call to halt Russia pipeline over Navalny arrest
  2. EU targets vaccinating 70% of adults by summer
  3. Portugal pushes to start delayed 'future EU' conference
  4. EU Parliament pressing for inquiry into Frontex
  5. Untapped potential of the single market could boost European recovery
  6. Biden's 'Age of Aquarius'? Mars and Venus will clash over China
  7. The new dimension of 'ever-closer union'
  8. What do new CDU chief's pro-Russia views mean for Europe?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us