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New Moldovan government asks IMF, Romania for financial assistance amid political crisis

January 26, 2016, 16:42 UTC+3 CHISINAU

The country’s state budget has fallen short of receiving around 20% of revenue last year

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© Vadim Denisov/TASS

CHISINAU, January 26. /TASS/. Moldova’s new government has addressed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Romania with a request to provide financial assistance to overcome hard economic situation, Economy Minister Octavian Calmic told reporters on Tuesday.

"We will make all possible efforts to sign a new memorandum on cooperation with IMF. Prime Minister Pavel Filip will send IMF representatives an official invitation to the talks already this week," Calmic said. He added that Filip is currently holding negotiations with his Romanian counterpart Dacian Ciolos on the conditions of receiving the first tranche of the 150-million-euro loan promised by Romania.

Calmic described the current economic situation in the country as "complicated but not critical." He said that one of the top priorities for Moldova’s Economy Ministry is to ensure fulfillment of Chisinau’s commitments in the framework of the agreement on free trade with the European Union (EU). "The ministry will also work on lifting barriers in trade with Russia and boosting exports of domestically produced goods to this country," Calmic noted.

He noted that Moldovan transport companies now experience problems in transit of Russian goods via Ukrainian territory due to Kiev’s ban on importing goods from Russia. "Thanks to diplomatic efforts, this problem has been temporarily settled. However, we need to look for a long-term solution by using a CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) platform," the minister stressed.

According to the Moldovan Economy Ministry, the country’s state budget has fallen short of receiving around 20% of revenue last year. Most investment projects in the country were suspended, and money is allocated only for the most urgent needs.

Mass protests have been held in Chisinau since last week, when the opposition picketed the parliament building where the new government was endorsed. It took six minutes for the parliamentary majority formed around the Democratic Party of Moldova to approve the cabinet of Pavel Flip. The candidate for prime minister was given no time to present the program of his future cabinet. This hasty appointment triggered riots, with protesters trying to storm the building. More than 30 people were injured in clashes with police.

The opposition refuses to recognize the government of Filip and insists on dissolving the parliament and carrying out early elections.

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