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February 8, 2023

Basescu: New government to endorse R. Moldova’s EU accession

The head of state says the theory of Moldova being a buffer state between NATO and Russia is unrealistic, adding that the Eastern neighbour could become ‘a EU border state’, like Romania.

Moldovan President Nicolae Timofte was in Bucharest yesterday, in his first foreign official trip since he took office in March. After his talks at Cotroceni Palace, President Traian Basescu said the new Romanian Government (the Ponta Cabinet – our note) would ‘unequivocally’ support the process of accession of the Republic of Moldova to the European Union. ‘There is no Romanian government, regardless of its political structure, that would not support three fundamental lines in our foreign policy: Romania in NATO, Romania in the EU and the strategic relationship with R. Moldova’, Basescu is quoted by Mediafax as having said. According to the president, these are ‘three fundamental foreign policy pillars for Romania’, ones that are recognised by all political parties regardless of their political colour. The head of state noted that one of the main topics addressed during the talks held yesterday had been the contribution Bucharest could bring to tying R. Moldova to the European Union via Romania as a neighbouring country. ‘President Timofti has declared EU integration a national project. That reminds me of our accession, when we set EU integration as our objective’, Basescu also said. On the other hand, the president said the scenario of transforming R. Moldova into a buffer state between NATO and Russia was ‘unrealistic’ while the ballistic missile defence system is deployed in Romania and added that the neighbouring country could become ‘a EU border state’, as Romania is now. The president reiterated the fact that the strategic objective of the missile defence system was to insure the security of South-Eastern European citizens against emergent powers ‘dreaming to develop nuclear weapons’ or against the risk of terrorist groups acquiring modern medium-range missiles.

He added that, between Russia and the EU there can only be economic, not military differences and the idea of R. Moldova as a buffer space between the two must be forgotten. Another topic on the agenda of the talks was the Transdniester issue. Traian Basescu promised his ‘total support’ for R. Moldova’s position in the dossier. The head of state also spoke about the projects within the Romania-R. Moldova strategic partnership for EU integration. ‘There have been discussions on the confusion created in some international relations about the Moldovan minority and the conclusion was that we are two independent and sovereign states, both having preponderantly Romanian inhabitants. We are tied by our language, traditions, joy and misfortune’, President Basescu explained. The president noted that, during the talks held yesterday, a decision had been made to ‘step up’ projects for the interconnection of energy, transport and communications systems of the two countries. ‘An extremely important thing is that the gas pipeline that will connect the gas systems of Romania and R. Moldova is partly funded by the EU, with the two states to bring their won contribution to the implementation of the project’, the president further said. On the other hand, the president said, in a joint interview at RRA with the president of R. Moldova, that by granting citizenship to young Moldovans they are offered the chance to study and work in the EU. Instead, President Timofti said that the main reason his nationals are applying for Romanian citizenship is not related to the “access in other countries”, but to the “attitude towards history”.

Timofti: Withdrawal of Russian troops from R. Moldova, clear point in Chisinau policy

On the other hand, Nicolae Timofti stated his confidence that Romania would keep its attitude of ‘significant support for R. Moldova’s EU accession regardless of the political orientation of its regime’. He stressed out that ‘R. Moldova’s geographic location explains certain geopolitical interests of states and groups’ and added he hoped the effort of having Russian troops withdraw from Transdniester would succeed. ‘This is a clear point in R. Moldova’s policy. I have seen Mr. Rogozin (Dmitry Rogozin, Russian Deputy Prime Minister – our note), recently (…) and we had sincere and open talks. He said the issue should be dealt with by means of debates, negotiations and bilateral relations. My opinion is that the mechanisms of international organisations need to be put to work’, said the Moldovan President Timofti invited his Romanian counterpart to visit Chisinau, something Traian Basescu confirmed, adding he would honour the invitation ‘in the shortest time possible’. The official from Chisinau yesterday met up with the Speakers of the two Chambers of the Romanian Parliament, Vasile Blaga and Roberta Anastase.

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