A Journal of People report
Igor Dodon, Moldova’s president, said Tuesday he hoped his country’s association agreement with the European Union would be cancelled if his party obtains a parliamentary majority, which would pave the way for an alliance with Moscow.
Speaking after talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Dodon said he is seeking “full reestablishment” of economic cooperation with Russia because the EU deal did not bring promised trade.
“This agreement did not bring any positive aspects to Moldova. We lost the Russian market while our exports to the EU also fell,” said Dodon.
Dodon said he agreed with Putin to begin talks on signing a “framework memorandum” on cooperation with the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEC)
He symbolically picked Moscow as his first foreign trip as president and called the visit “a historic day for Moldova-Russia relations.”
“I don’t rule out that after the next parliament polls this will be the position of the parliamentary majority, and I will support this position,” he said.
He said he hoped the Socialist Party he had led “will get a parliamentary majority and that this agreement will be annulled.”
Dodon won an election in November against a pro-European opponent.
Moldova’s parliamentary polls are scheduled for late 2018. However, Dodon did not rule out the holding of elections this year.
He made it clear he will seek to prepare the paperwork for joining the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union while also aiming to improve conditions for trade with Europe.
Moldova, wedged between Ukraine and Romania, is one of Europe’s poorest states with a population of 3.5 million. The state is plagued by corruption and relies on remittances from its nationals working in Russia and EU countries.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has warned that Ukrainians may become disillusioned with their pro-European path if the EU further delays closer integration with the country he now leads.
The EU agreed to provide visa waivers for Ukrainians last month after weeks of stalling, but the decision has not gone into effect.
“To delay further would be flagrantly unfair as Ukraine has paid a high price,” Poroshenko told foreign ambassadors to Ukraine on January 16.
“It would also be dangerous because more unreasonable delays would undermine Ukrainians’ faith in Europe. This is exactly what Russia wants,” he said, adding that Ukraine’s EU Association Agreement also should be ratified.
Delays have raised criticism that the bloc was reneging on pledges to help Ukraine.