TIRASPOL, November 16 (Itar-Tass) - The free trade agreement between Moldova and the European Union, due to be initialled in November, will inevitably harm producers in Trans-Dniestria, the foreign minister of the self-proclaimed republic, Nina Stansky, said at a meeting of government members and experts on Friday.
“The threats that we shall encounter will be obvious under any scenario. We are unaware of the full text of the agreement, but the information that we have prompts the conclusion the interests of our producers were left unnoticed,” Stansky said.
She said the European market was strategic for a majority of local companies, so reorienting themselves towards the CIS would be hardly feasible.
“We would like to retain sound pragmatism in relations with the EU. For that reason we suggest devising a special formula for our trading relations and putting it on record in a special treaty with the Moldovan side,” Stansky said.
The idea of lifting barriers in trade with the EU looks premature to many in Moldova, too. Experts warn that the local producers may fail in competition with stronger Western companies, but the authorities keep saying that protectionist duties will be lifted gradually, over a period of ten years.
The leader of Trans-Dniestria, Yevgeny Shevchuk, has already warned that if Tiraspol’s interests are ignored, the ensuring effects on the Dniester conflict settlement talks and in bilateral relations would be placed squarely on Chisinau.