Russian First Deputy Prime Minister: Russia welcomes Moldova’s aspirations for European integration

Russia welcomes Moldova’s plans to join the European Union and maintain good relations with the CIS member states, said Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, who met with Premier Vlad Filat and Acting President Mihai Ghimpu in Chisinau on March 31.

In a news conference, Igor Shuvalov, who is also Russia’s coordinator for CIS matters, said that Moldova remains one of Russia’s main partners and that his country is ready to strengthen the cooperation inside the CIS and at bilateral level.

“Moldova and Russia have enormous potential to reciprocally support the development of the two economies. I do not refer only to the export of Moldovan products to Russia,” Shuvalov said. A number of meetings of Moldovan and Russian officials centering on trade barriers will take place the next months. Moreover, from July 1, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will create a joint customs union and the Moldovan products could be exported to these countries, the Russian official said.

In the meeting with Vlad Filat, the two officials discussed the activities that will be held to celebrate 65 years of the victory over fascism. Shuvalov said it was a common victory of all the post-Soviet states. “Russia will organize a number of activities dedicated to this victory. The veterans from all the countries are expected to Moscow on May 8, one day before the event, to celebrate the victory,” he said. The informal summit of CIS heads of state will take place in Moscow also on May 8.

For his part, Premier Vlad Filat stressed that progress has been made in implementing the agreements signed earlier with Russia and reiterated the idea of continuing the cooperation based on mutual trust and respect for the interests of the Moldovan and Russian citizens. “This visit can give a new impetus to developing the bilateral relations,” he said.

Also today, Igor Shuvalov had a meeting with Head of Parliament and Acting President Mihai Ghimpu. The Moldovan official reiterated that Moldova wants to develop the bilateral relations with Russia under mutually advantageous conditions, the Parliament says in a communique. As regards the Transnistrian dispute, Mihai Ghimpu stressed that the Moldovan authorities consider a solution to the conflict can be identified at the talks in the 5+2 format and, therefore, they should be resumed as soon as possible.

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