Friday

9th Dec 2016

Trade pact to 'seal Moldova's European path'

  • Leanca (l) said deal with Transniestria more likely if Moldova moves closer to EU (Photo: ec.europa.eu)

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has said the signature, next month, of a trade treaty with Chisinau will "seal Moldova's European path".

He stopped short of promising it can one day join the EU.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

But he added: "We see it not as the end of the road. I can say that the association agreement will not constitute the end goal in European Union-Moldova relations. I want to tell you that we believe in the European perspective of Moldova."

EU foreign ministers have made similar statements before.

But Barroso's remarks come amid a drastic escalation in Russia's attempts to stop former satellites from leaving its orbit.

It has annexed Crimea, egged on separatists in Moldova's Transniestria region, banned imports of Moldovan wine and threatened wider economic warfare.

Alluding to a recent incident in which Russia's deputy PM tweeted that he will bomb Moldova's neighbour, Romania, if it blocks his flights to Transniestria, Moldovan PM Iurie Leanca urged Russia to conduct foreign policy "via bilateral meetings, not via Twitter or Facebook".

He added, alongside Barroso, that closer EU ties will help him to reunify his country.

"A stronger European Moldova will … mean we are much more attractive to those who sit on the right bank of the Dniester river, meaning the Transniestria region," he said.

The EU commission chief noted it would be "unacceptable" if Russia tries to "instrumentalise" the 20-year old frozen conflict to stop the trade treaty signature on 27 June.

Both men said Moldova's decision to integrate with the EU is its "sovereign" and "democratic" choice.

Barroso added that Russia's efforts to stop Moldova and Ukraine from signing EU trade agreements is a threat to the "civilised" world.

"It makes no sense to have this idea of the limited sovereignty of other countries," he noted.

"If you accept this principle, then we're heading for trouble not only in the region, but in the world. The principle that one country has the right to veto the decisions of others is an order that we don't think is a civilised order in the 21st century."

Commission won't call Castro a dictator

The EU executive says that a statement decribing the former Cuban leader as a "hero for many" is balanced and suggests that the use of the word dictator by a commissioner doesn't reflect its position.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesMEPs and Business Representatives Debated on the Future of the EU at the Winter Mingle
  2. ACCASets Out Fifty Key Factors in the Public Sector Accountants Need to Prepare for
  3. UNICEFSchool “as Vital as Food and Medicine” for Children Caught up in Conflict
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC President Breathes Sigh of Relief Over Result of Austrian Presidential Election
  5. CESICongress Re-elects Klaus Heeger & Romain Wolff as Secretary General & President
  6. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAustrian Association for Betting and Gambling Joins EGBA
  7. ACCAWomen of Europe Awards: Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  8. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  9. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  10. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  11. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  12. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children