Romania will further be a strategic and very dynamic partner of Moldova, says President Klaus Iohannis.
Lucidity seems to gradually replace euphoria in the case of Igor Dodon, the pro-Russian socialist leader in the Republic of Moldova. After having won the presidential runoff, the triumph euphoria is dissipating and the president elect is already putting a damper on the promises he made during the election campaign. In an interview with the Russian press agency Interfax, quoted by Radio Romania’s correspondents in Chisinau, Dodon is now saying that the Republic of Moldova cannot afford to cancel its association agreement with the European Union, even if he had previously promised his supporters he would cancel the agreements with Brussels, in order to facilitate the country’s joining the Eurasian Economic Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Being aware that half of the electorate that had voted for his opponent, pro-European reformer Maia Sandu, would not tolerate a brutal reversal of the foreign policy vector, Dodon says that the republic does not need what he called a Ukrainian “waste land” hinting at the large-scale demonstrations which in early 2014, triggered the collapse of the pro-Moscow regime in Kiev and the instatement of a pro-Western administration. However, he demands that the European Union replace the free trade regime stipulated under the association agreement by an asymmetrical trade regime, which would enable the Republic of Moldova to export goods on the community market without paying customs dues.
A single person, be him the president, cannot fundamentally affect the relationship between Romania and the Republic of Moldova, Romanian president Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday said in the northeastern city of Iasi, just 20 km far from the common border. The most consistent and energetic supporter of the neighboring country’s European undertaking, Romania will further be a strategic and very dynamic partner of the Republic of Moldova, Iohannis promised.
Klaus Iohannis: “I want us to support the Republic of Moldova and I want us to do it institutionally. We have a historical relationship, we have an economic relation, we have cultural relations and I think that there are further premises for a very good cooperation between institutions in Romania and the Republic of Moldova. There are high chances of economic growth in the Republic of Moldova, which will make Moldovans really feel what rapprochement to Europe means.”
Experts say that the new president of the Republic of Moldova will not find it easy to abide by the foreign policy pledges laid down in his electoral programme. Professor Iulian Chifu, head of the Centre for Conflict Prevention and Early Warning and former presidential advisor in Bucharest points out that on the one hand, the Constitution does not give Dodon too many prerogatives and on the other hand, the coalition government of Pavel Filip, as well as most of the MPs elected two years ago, are at least in declarative terms, advocates of European integration and not nostalgic about the Soviet regime.
(Translated by Ana Maria Palcu)