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September 20, 2021

Ponta: “Romania supports without reservation the adoption of the partnership decisions between the EU and the Republic of Moldova”

Premier Victor Ponta speaks, in an interview published yesterday by ‘Evenimentul Zilei,’ about the visit he will pay to Chisinau on July 27, where he will attend the festivities dedicated to the Independence Day of the Republic of Moldova. According to the premier, the relation between Romania and Moldova is “very close” but what matters are concrete plans, not “nice words.” “After many years of nice words, without concrete consequences, starting last year we entered a period of pragmatism and implementation. I had a very pragmatic and constructive relation with former premier Vlad Filat and I am convinced that together with Premier Iurie Leanca we will jointly start the phase of fulfilling the promises of the past,” Ponta said, quoted by evz.ro.
Asked if there is a possibility that Romania changes its policy on granting citizenship to Moldovan citizens, Ponta answered that although there are several things to be done, the procedure of granting the Romanian citizenship to Moldovan citizens improved and bureaucracy was reduced.
Also, asked how he sees the European evolution of Moldova in the perspective of the Vilnius summit of the Eastern Partnership, Ponta mentioned that Romania supports “without reservation” the adoption during the summit of the partnership decision between the EU and the neighboring country, along with a concrete and accelerated visa removal calendar.
As for the idea of his Chisinau counterpart to limit the presence of Moldovan students with scholarships in Romania, which sparked much criticism at Chisinau, Ponta explained that Romania largely maintains the level of scholarships: “(…) instead of those scholarships for the whole duration (4 or 5 years) of a specialisation we can enact a more mobile system in which the students from Moldova study for one year or two in Romanian universities. Thus we have more beneficiaries and an easier integration in the economy of Moldova.”
During the same interview, Ponta also spoke about the place Moldova will occupy in the energy strategy of Romania, but also about the strategy in the perspective of the economic accord between the two countries. “The essential purpose is to have the infrastructure necessary for gas transport. This way Moldova will have the possibility to supply itself from two sources. When the extraction of shale gas will begin in the Black Sea, Romania will consider the market of Moldova as a priority direction to sell this gas,” Ponta explained.
Leanca, optimist about Moldova’s chances of accession to the EU
Also in an interview with ‘Evenimentul Zilei,’ the prime-minister of Moldova, Iurie Leanca said that he remains optimistic about his country’s chances of accession to the EU. “Romania is a natural advocate and we hugely appreciate this support. (…) It is also important that the list of countries which grant total support and are open towards our European aspirations is not limited to the <>,” the Chisinau official stated. Asked about what important projects supported by Romania are on the agenda of the bilateral collaboration, Leanca gave as example the opening of the Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline, which he said is “a large-scale project” that will be launched on the Independence Day of the Republic of Moldova, when Victor Ponta will visit Chisinau. Besides, there are other important projects of interconnecting power lines, building bridges and promoting the European agenda, Leanca added.

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