CHISINAU, November 6. /TASS/. Moldova and the European Union on Thursday signed a memorandum of mutual understanding and assistance for the years 2014 through to 2017, which implies European financial aid to the republic in the amount of 410 million euro.
The document was signed by Prime Minister Iurie Leanca and the European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood policy Johannes Hahn.
Leanca said at a joint news briefing with Hahn that aid would be allocated for reforms in the agrarian sector, development or rural areas and upgrading of state administration.
Also, the sides signed an agreement on financial backup for the program of a free trade zone with the EU in the amount of 30 million euro. This allocation is destined to boost the competitiveness of small businesses and to change local legislation, Leanca said.
Hahn called Moldova a leader among the countries embraced by the so-called Eastern Partnership program. He said it was important to cut down the level of corruption and to make the financial system transparent.
In addition, Moldova needed an independent judiciary system and compliance with these conditions was the only way to invite foreign investors, Hahn said, voicing the hope that this country would step up reforms for integration in the EU after the November 30 parliamentary election.
Moldova signed an Association Agreement (AA) with the EU on June 27 simultaneously with Georgia and Ukraine but recent opinion polls show that society in this country is split on the issue, as the majority of Moldovans, or 45%, speak in favor of joining the Eurasian Customs Union, which consists of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan at the moment.
On the face of it, a total of 43% Moldovans give preference to the AA.
The majority of residents of the breakaway independence-minded Transdniestria region /the self-proclaimed Dniester Republic/ and the Gagauzian Autonomous District speak against a possible association with the EU.