The agreement between the Government of Romania and the Government of the Republic of Moldova on the technical and financial assistance programme based on a non-reimbursable financial aid of 100 million euros granted by Romania to the Republic of Moldova, signed in 2010, expired on Sunday. Romania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) gives assurance that our country “remains a predictable and involved partner” of the neighbouring state.
“The MAE, although it has taken all steps depending on it to extend the 2010 Agreement, is forced to express its regret for its expiry. At the same time, the MAE assures the citizens of the Republic of Moldova that Romania will remain a predictable and involved partner of this country, as proven before,” the same source states.
At the same time, Romania “expresses its readiness to conclude a new Agreement, to continue the 2010 Agreement, while integrating all subsequent additional protocols, with the aim of boosting the development of the Republic of Moldova, advancing its European path and implementing democratic reforms. Romania will continue to provide direct, consistent and selfless support to the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, including of a humanitarian nature in the current pandemic context, and to act for the advancement of strategic interconnection projects,” the MAE press release underscores.
“Given the imminent expiry of the Agreement, at the beginning of November 2020, Romania proposed the Republic of Moldova the conclusion of a new Additional Protocol (Protocol 6), which would have allowed both the extension of the validity period of the Agreement and, thus, the use of funds still unspent from the 100 million euros, in future projects, as well as the extension of the areas in which the non-reimbursable financial aid can be granted,” say the MAE representatives.
According to the Romanian Ministry, the draft Protocol 6 to the Agreement “also included a series of additional elements proposed by the Romanian side which – once assumed by the Government in Chisinau – would have been able to support the meeting of expectations related to maintaining the European path of Moldova, while observing the principles of democracy and the rule of law.”
It also provided for “ensuring the full implementation, by the Republic of Moldova, of the provisions of the Association Agreement concluded with the European Union and the implementation of the necessary reforms, focusing on justice reform, ensuring the conditions for consolidating and protecting Romania’s investments in Moldova, as well as the consolidation of the common language, culture and history that Romania and the Republic of Moldova share.”
These additional elements, shows MAE, “are in full accordance with the policy constantly applied by Romania and the EU to use a set of conditionalities that will stimulate the reform efforts so necessary for the Republic of Moldova.”
According to the Romanian Ministry, “despite the repeated steps taken by the Romanian side, which consistently reaffirmed the readiness to sign and ratify the document in the form proposed by Romania, in time to avoid the expiry of the Agreement signed in 2010, the Government in Chisinau sent a response to Romania’s proposal only on February 26, 2021, consisting of a draft text that departs from the proposed Protocol 6 of the Romanian side, not including the additional elements mentioned above.”
According to the MAE, during the most recent bilateral talks, in mid-March, the representatives of the Government in Chisinau also claimed that the Interim Government of the Republic of Moldova would not have the necessary powers to complete the procedures for concluding the Agreement.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalls that the non-reimbursable loan of 100 million euros granted by Romania, which aimed to improve the lives of all citizens of the Republic of Moldova, in line with the objectives of the Strategic Partnership between Romania and the Republic of Moldova for European integration of Moldova was concluded in April 2010.
For over a decade, the Agreement has allowed Romania to finance emblematic projects, such as the rehabilitation and modernization of over 1,000 kindergartens and schools in the Republic of Moldova or to ensure a contribution to the development of the Iasi-Chisinau gas pipeline, a strategic project for energy interconnection between Romania and the Republic of Moldova.