Moldova Seeks to Warm Ties With Moscow

Moldova Seeks to Warm Ties With Moscow

 

A Moldovan diplomatic mission will arrive in Moscow on Thursday for the first inter-ministerial talks since April 2017, when Moldova froze ties with Russia after accusing Russia of trying to kill the ruling pro-Western Democratic Party's leader, Vlad Plahotniuc.

Moldova also claimed that its officials were harassed by the Russian authorities every time they visited the country.

According to the agenda of the meeting, the two sides will examine topics designed to advance political dialogue, trade, economic and social cooperation, interaction in the cultural and humanitarian sphere, and more.

"They will talk also about the problematic issues of bilateral relations, including the difficulties encountered in travelling to the Russian Federation by senior Moldovan officials," according to a press release.

Analysts said the Democratic Party was seeking to reestablish contacts with Russia ahead of important parliamentary elections due in February, at a time of poor relations with the EU.

The EU suspended macro-financial aid of 100 million euros in July 2018 because of the government's allegedly anti-democratic actions. 

"The PD has burned its bridges with the West. They have only a few Social-Democratic affiliations, like with the [ruling] PSD in Romania, and with a few political circles in the US, but far from those that are very influential, as they had wanted," a political analyst, Ion Tabarta, told BIRN.

He argued that Russia also had an interest in healing feuds with Moldova's current rulers.

"Moscow would be interested in such a partnership and in establishing a dialogue. Russia knows well who decides what in Moldova and who is the decisive factor – and there are no guarantees that [the pro-Russian President] Igor Dodon and his [Socialist] party will win the [2019] elections," he said.

Meanwhile, showing off his special relationship with Moscow, President Dodon said in a political talk-show on Monday that he had talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin about allowing fruit and vegetables to be exported to Russia.

He also said Moldova might access funds worth one billion US dollars from Russia for infrastructure projects, if the results of the next elections favoured the pro-Russia Socialists.

Dodon warned that Russia would not allow Moldovan exports if the present pro-Western government remained in office after the elections.

Russia placed Moldova under a virtual economic embargo after it signed an Association Agreement with the EU in 2013.

Only a few companies, mostly related to Dodon and the Socialist Party, or from the breakaway Russian-controlled region of Transnistria, have been allowed to export to Russia since then.

 

14.11.2018

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