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Romanian President to discuss Moldova’s EU integration in Chisinau

July 17, 2013, 8:27 UTC+3

The main obstacle for Moldova’s EU integration is the Dniester region conflict that remains unsettled

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CHISINAU, July 17 (Itar-Tass) - Romanian President Traian Basescu arrives for an official visit to Chisinau on Wednesday to discuss Moldova’s EU integration and stronger bilateral cooperation.

He will meet with his Moldovan counterpart Nicolae Timofti, parliamentary speaker Igor Corman, Prime Minister Iurie Leanca, leaders of parties forming the ruling Pro-European Government Coalition, representatives of the civil society and religious leaders, the Moldovan president’s press service said.

“Our priority is to ensure Moldova’s EU integration with the upcoming 10-12 years,” Basescu told reporters ahead of his visit to Chisinau. “This will contribute to the two countries’ unification.”

At the same time he noted that the main obstacle for Moldova’s EU integration is the Dniester region conflict that remains unsettled.

“Undoubtedly, the EU will not repeat its mistakes with Cyprus,” he said.

Basescu admitted that Romania and Russia have different approaches to the Dniester conflict settlement.

“Moscow sees Moldova as a federal state, while we as unitary, but finally only Chisinau can define the level of autonomy for the Dniester region,” he said.

“I pin great hopes on Basescu’s visit. He supports Moldova in all issues and undertakings, especially as concerns European integration and the preparation for signing an association agreement with the EU,” Timofti told reporters.

However, not all share his optimism. On the eve of Basescu’s visit the leader of Moldova’s biggest party of communists, Vladimir Voronin, accused Romania of pursuing aggressive policy.

“Basescu does not recognize Moldova’s sovereignty and evades the signing of agreements on friendship and cooperation with us as well as on border,” he said.

Leaders of other parties and non-governmental movements also oppose Basescu’s visit. They plan to meet him with protests in Chisinau and other cities.

Basescu’s previous visit took place in January 2010. Then he promised Chisinau a 100 million euro gratuitous financial support for modernization of the infrastructure and the implementation of joint energy projects, in particular interconnection of the two countries’ gas pipeline and energy networks.

Basescu said in 2015 Romania would start exporting gas to Moldova.

“I believe that when in 2018 industrial production of Romania’s gas fields in the Black Sea will start, our opportunities for helping Moldova with energy resources will significantly increase,” he said.

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