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September 27, 2020

Basescu: Republic of Moldova has no alternative to European track

Romanian President Traian Basescu paid a visit to Chisina, on which occasion he met his Moldovan counterpart Nicolae Timofti and PM Iurie Leanca. Welcomed and applauded by about two hundred people who gathered in the centre of Chisinau, he was also booed by others.
In a press conference, part of the visit he paid to Chisinau, president Traian Basescu said that the Republic of Moldova has no other option than the European track, emphasizing at the same time that, in Chisinau, there is an internal opposition to this process, which he cannot explain.
“Here my visit must be interpreted not only in response to the invitation of Mr. President Timofti, but as a visit that comes at a very important moment for the future of the Republic of Moldova. The Republic of Moldova is preparing for the biggest success in the process launched quite many years ago, that of EU approach and future integration, namely the signing of association agreements with the EU and the initialling of the Free Trade Agreement. This is to take place in Vilnius, on November 27 to 28, this year, on the occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit,” said Basescu in a joint press declaration with the President of the Republic of Moldova, Nicolae Timofti.
In this context, the President stressed that the fact that the Republic of Moldova is drawing closer to the EU is also due to its citizens. Asked if there could be any “provocation” from Russia, ahead of the Summit in Vilnius, Basescu said he does not believe it.
Basescu also reassured Chisinau that Romania does not change its foreign policy, but this does not mean it is an isolated country living in the European Union or in NATO, only. Regarding the recent official visits of Romanian officials in China and Russia, president Basescu said that they are motivated by the intention of developing the economic trade and this doesn’t mean that Romania changes its foreign politics.
Also yesterday, president Basescu and his Moldovan counterpart Nicolae Timofti talked about the requirement of new bridges should be built over the Prut.
According to Timofti, during the talks it was also express the desire of boosting the economic ties as well.
Nevertheless, Basescu hailed the upcoming start of construction works on the Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline; plans are also afoot to interconnect the Romanian and Moldovan power grids this fall. Basescu said that as a result, the Republic of Moldova will no longer depend on just one energy source. “A gas pipeline is a complicated project. The standards of the Republic of Moldova had to be adjusted to EU ones Romania also complies with, specific legislation had to be put in place, and a project had to be devised for crossing the Prut River,” said Basescu.
The Romanian chief of state also stressed that the issue of the small order traffic permits for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova is resumed, within one month, at the latest. “We had to switch to the biometric data permits. The problem has been finally solved, and they are currently under print. I think the issue of the small border traffic permits is resumed within one month, at the latest. I want you to understand this is no mere issue of small traffic permits, but it deals with the biometric permits, i.e. they store personal data of the citizens, and such permits observe totally different rules. (…) The problem is solved at last. Do not imagine, we are less bureaucratic. Same blood flows in our veins,” said Basescu when asked when the issue of small border traffic permits is resumed.
President Basescu added that between Romania and the Republic of Moldova there is a “blood partnership, because this is how God left it for us” and that Bucharest will stand by the Moldovan citizens “anytime will be needed”. He also mentioned that the Moldovan people are Latin and that he didn’t see among them “citizens with oblique eyes”, his conviction being that the option of the majority of Moldovan people is to join the European Union and not the Eurasian Union.
President Basescu was received yesterday morning by his Moldovan counterpart Nicolae Timofti, within an official ceremony organized at the State Residence of the latter. Close to the location, pro and anti-Basescu manifestations took place. Later on, the president was welcomed and applauded by about two hundred people who gathered in the centre of Chisinau, where Romania’s President laid a wreath at the monument to Romanian Prince Stephen the Great, who ruled between 1457 and 1504. Several dozens booed him shouting ‘down with the union.’
In an interview for “Romania libera” and Radio Europa Libera ahead of his visit to Chisinau, the Romanian chief of state said that the Republic of Moldova could reach Romania’s level in the future 10-12 years and that the same period of time would be necessary for the country to become member of the European Union. “Romania’s priority must be that Republic of Moldova becomes EU member,” said president Basescu in the same interview.
Ponta: It’s good to be President, you’re generous with other people’s money
Premier Victor Ponta answered President Basescu’s criticism concerning the lowering of the number of scholarships for young people from the Republic of Moldova, pointing out that it is good to be President and generous “with other people’s money,” and stating that both he as Prime Minister and his Moldovan counterpart are working unlike other persons.
“I was thinking how good it is to be President, because you’re generous with other people’s money. We are building the natural gas pipeline with our money, scholarships are being offered from our money too, it’s so good to be generous with other people’s money, too bad the previous government did not manage to do anything, neither to hike the number of visas, nor to build the natural gas pipeline with Moldova. We are busy with the job and the work, Prime Minister Leanca and I,” Ponta said during the government meeting.
He asked the ministers involved to support all projects agreed with the Republic of Moldova.
In an interview given to Europa Libera before his visit to the Republic of Moldova, President Basescu stated among others that for him it was shocking that Moldovan Premier Iurie Leanca asked Prime Minister Victor Ponta to lower the number of scholarships for students from the Republic of Moldova.
Chirtoaca says Romania should invest more in R. of Moldova
Chisinau Mayor Dorin Chirtoaca stated on RFI that if Romania invests more in the Republic of Moldova this could change the perception about Romania, proposing that Bucharest should offer EUR 50 M annually to rural localities in the neighboring country. “It would have been natural in 20 years’ time, after that Bridge of Flowers (over the Prut River), for us to have managed to build more bridges for pedestrian, road, railway traffic, if still needed. Or to have the same railway, the same railway gauge, in order to no longer change the gauge at Ungheni and thus lose another four hours. More infrastructure projects. Obviously things are not perfect today either,” Chirtoaca stated.

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