The agreement on Romania’s reimbursable financial assistance package for the Republic of Moldova, worth a maximum of EUR 150 M, has been approved on Tuesday by the Lower Chamber with 312 votes in favour and 3 abstentions. Moldovan Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet should have been present at the meeting to deliver a speech,but his flight from Brussels was delayed.
Premier Victor Ponta stated on Tuesday that it is Romania’s obligation to help the Republic of Moldova. “Russia is treating its neighbouring countries with contempt for international laws and this does not only fail to frighten us but it also strengthens our conviction that alongside our NATO partners we are doing our duty in this area which is so difficult yet so important. (…) If we do not help Moldova now then Russia will certainly take advantage and will again try to pull Moldova off its pro-European path. It is our obligation, if we truly are their older brothers as we like to say, to help them out in these difficult moments,” Ponta said at the Palace of Parliament.
According to the memorandum approved by the Romanian side, the Government of Moldova requested the assessment of the possibility of granting a loan worth 150 million euros on 5 years, in three tranches, the first amount of 60 million euros in 2015, the second, worth 50 million euros, in 2016, and the third amount standing at 50 million euros, in 2017. According to the document, the reason for requesting this loan is “insufficient sources for funding the budget deficit estimated at 3.8 percent of the GDP in 2015.”
PM Ponta says loan to Moldova shows solidarity
Prime Minister Victor Ponta says the 150 million euros loan to the Republic of Moldova shows people on both sides of the Prut River border can stand together in good and bad times.
“We have in Bucharest Mr. [Valeriu] Strelet, prime minister of the Republic of Moldova. (…) I am glad he arrived in Bucharest on a special day, when the Chamber of Deputies unanimously approved – and I want to say this to the people on the other side of the Prut – the loan agreement between Romania and the Republic of Moldova, worth 150 million euros, Ponta said in a joint press release with Strelet.
According to the Romanian PM, it was probably the fastest negotiated agreement in Romania’s history, and definitely in Moldova’s, as all the Romanian politicians and parties supported it.
“In 25 years, our brothers – that’s how we call them from our hearts – we had lots of words, gatherings, reproaches, but not many concrete things. Over the past two years, we managed to get to concrete things,” he declared, adding as examples the Iasi (northeastern Romania) – Ungheni (Moldova) gas pipeline, a programme on school buses, investments of 20 million euros in rehabilitation and construction of kindergartens and a project on the development of Moldova’s emergency rescue service.
“Nevertheless, the most important thing is, the Republic of Moldova needs today, now, a financial support it cannot get from anywhere else but from us, to overcome a difficult period. A difficult period they have especially because of economic sanctions imposed by the Russian Federation to the Republic of Moldova for a single gesture – but a fundamental one. Last year, the Republic of Moldova, through premier [Iurie] Leanca, signed the EU Association Agreement. Well, because they have been sanctioned for that, I think it is our duty to help them. It’s in need one knows their friends, and I think that by what we did today and keep doing we show people on both banks of the Prut, we’re together for good and for bad,” Ponta asserted.
The loan is to be repaid within five years.
The Senate is the decisive Chamber in the case of this agreement, which also has to be adopted by the Moldovan Parliament.
Moldova’s Strelet: We want to extend our full gratitude to Romania for its loan to Moldova
Moldova’s Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet said Tuesday in Bucharest that a 150-million-euro loan Romania has decided to grant to Moldova is a gesture over which Moldova is voicing full gratitude, adding that the Moldovan Government will do its best for the money to be spent on promoting reform and modernising Moldova.
“This is a gesture deserving of our full gratitude, and you have that gratitude. You were saying previously, and I am saying it myself now, that there are not many countries that would ask how they can help you. This is Romania’s attitude and we thank you for it. We will strive to make the loan a good fundamental for our development in the future so that we may, figuratively speaking, swim on our own and manage ourselves. Thank you very much!” Sterlet told a joint press conference with Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta at the Government House in Bucharest after a one-to-one meeting.
Strelet said Moldova is facing a time that is not simple at all.
He mentioned that the financial resources Moldova will get this year and in the years ahead will not be spent on unproductive objectives. “We are envisaging promoting reforms and modernising Moldova so that under joint projects we may raise our level of development to get closer to Romania’s and to get closer to Europe by concrete steps,” said Strelet.
President Iohannis tells Moldovan PM Strelet to count on Romania anytime
The Republic of Moldova can count on Romania anytime and in a great measure, President Klaus Iohannis told Moldovan Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet upon receiving him at the Cotroceni Palace on Tuesday.
“You’ll further have our support. You know you can count on us a lot, anytime,” Iohannis told the Moldovan Premier.
The President affirmed that Romania is “the Republic of Moldova’s main promoter in the field of European affairs.”
He expressed his regret that the Moldovan PM failed to get to the Romanian Parliament due to a technical malfunction of the airplane that brought him from Brussels to Bucharest.
“It’s a shame that because of a technical malfunction you couldn’t be to the Parliament, but – as you have already seen – the Parliament has voted enthusiastically this project that provides a quite important financial support to the Republic of Moldova and I’m very happy to find that together we have made it, here, in Romania, to go very fast through all the institutional steps, and I believe it is a quite obvious sign that we are talking a lot of about Moldova, about the support we give it, and if necessary we actually give it,” said Iohannis.
The head of state specified that this is the first official visit of the Moldovan Prime Minister to the Cotroceni Palace and reminded of the informal meeting they had in New York, on the sidelines of the UN session.
The Moldovan official said he wanted to be here, in Bucharest, to thank the Romanian authorities for the support given to the Republic of Moldova.
“I really wanted to come to Bucharest (…) after Brussels. I had a good, short visit to Brussels and I hoped to arrive in Bucharest to thank the Romanian authorities, you personally, the Parliament, the Government for the support they give us constantly and especially now in a crucial moment for our country, which we will overcome with joint efforts in order to ensure continuity of reforms and changes started a while ago,” said Strelet.
He underlined that Romania’s support for the integration of the Republic of Moldova in the European Union was constant, continuous and very sincere in various fields.
The meeting at the Cotroceni Palace was also attended by the Foreign Affairs Minister, Bogdan Aurescu.
Romania-Moldova reimbursable financial assistance agreement, in Senate plenary session on Monday
Senate Chairman Calin Popescu Tariceanu says a draft law ratifying a reimbursable financial assistance agreement between Romania and the Republic of Moldova, signed in Chisinau on October 7, 2015, will be on the agenda of a plenary session of the Senate.
“Yesterday I had a discussion with Moldova’s Prime Minister Valeriu Strelet, whom I promised that the Senate will take all measures for this bill to be approved as soon as possible. Today we decided to send it to the special committees for reports; on Monday it will be on the agenda and probably we shall also send it to the President, in accordance with the legal procedures,” Tariceanu said on Wednesday, after a meeting of the chamber’s Standing Bureau.