Thursday

23rd Feb 2017

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."

EU lifts visa restrictions on Moldova

The EU formally agreed to lift visa restrictions on Moldova, allowing its citizens to travel throughout the Schengen passport-free area.

Interview

The Armenia-Azerbaijan war: A refugee's story

The lynching of a woman in the Soviet Union in 1988 gives insight into why reconciliation remains so hard in the 30-year long war on Europe's eastern fringe.

News in Brief

  1. Romanian parliament buries controversial corruption decree
  2. Dozens drown off Libyan coast
  3. EU ministers approve anti-tax avoidance directive
  4. Poland rejects EU criticism of court changes
  5. German nationalist leader met with Putin allies in Moscow
  6. German housing market overheated, says Bundesbank
  7. France invites three EU leaders for Versailles summit in March
  8. Greece agrees on new bailout reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  2. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  3. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  4. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  5. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  6. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  7. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  9. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  10. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  11. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year
  12. Centre Maurits CoppietersThe Situation of Refugee Women in Europe