U.S. Ambassador meets with new Moldovan Premier

The U.S. Government is ready to provide financial assistance to Moldova to an amount of US$262 million within the Compact program of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Moldova Asif J. Chaudhry stated during a briefing for the press on Monday following his meeting with Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat.

The diplomat stressed the project continuation is evidence that the United States is ready to proceed with its assistance for Moldova. The money is intended for road repair (US$133 million) and farm sector development through ensuring local farmers with advanced irrigation systems (US$102 million).

He said that prior to signing an agreement on allocating the sum concerned, it is necessary to make several steps, including enlist the U.S. Congress’ blessing of the sum. Asif Chaudhry hopes there will be no problem at this stage. Upon receiving the Congress’ consent, the American side will immediately enter into negotiations with the Moldovan Government on signing a financing agreement.

Last 8-9 months, Mr. Chaudhry said, nearly US$11 million was spent for examining and assessing the roads intended for reconstruction.

The U.S. ambassador believes the new Government of Moldova is capable of carrying out democratic reforms for the Moldovan people’s good, and the United States is ready to help in this.

Premier Vlad Filat expressed hope the financing agreement will be signed before the end of this year. He stressed that the projects will be carried out not only in the mainland Moldova but in Transnistria as well, and that “there shall be no problem with project realization on the eastern Dniester bank”.

The MCC project includes 5 roads in three regions of Moldova (including in Transnistria) totaling over 500 kilometers, namely Balti-Criva, Sarateni-Soroca-Unghuri, Comrat-Vulcanesti, Chisinau-Dubossary-Goeni-Ukrainian border, and Chisinau-Ghura Bicului-Tiraspol-Ukrainian border.

In mid-November 2008, Moldovan Prime Minister Zinaida Grechanaya and MCC Vice-President John Huco signed, in Chisinau, a Memorandum, according to which the Millennium Challenge Corporation will provide a grant of US$11.9 million for carrying out feasibility studies of the projects of road rehabilitation and investment in farm sector. Earlier, Moldova received US$24.7 million to combat corruption and trafficking in human beings in the framework of the Threshold Program of cooperation with the MCC. The projects on road rehabilitation, on raising energy sector efficiency, agriculture development and medical services in rural areas, proposed by the Moldovan Government to implementation within the Compact program, will require US$518 million to implement.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is a United States’ innovation program targeted at rendering financial assistance to reduce poverty in selected countries through helping enhance their economic growth. Moldova was selected for the assistance on November 8, 2006. To date, the Millennium Challenge Corporation has rendered over US$ 4 billion worth of assistance to 14 nations.

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