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Russia, EU equally interested in success of reforms in Moldova — opinion

August 11, 2015, 8:55 UTC+3 NEW YORK
Neither will benefit from a weak neighbor that brings with it financial black holes, organized crime, trafficking and uncontrolled migration, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe says
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Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland

©  Zurab Dzhavakhadze/TASS

NEW YORK, August 11. /TASS/. Russia and the EU have equal interest in the success of efforts to bring stability and prosperity to Moldova, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland who is a former Prime Minister of Norway said in an article published on Monday by The New York Times.

"Whatever their differing hopes for the country’s future, both the European Union and the Russian Federation have an interest in the success of these efforts," he wrote. "Neither will benefit from a weak neighbor that brings with it financial black holes, organized crime, trafficking and uncontrolled migration."

"The clear lesson from Ukraine has been that, in today’s Europe, a state’s strength and stability depends on its commitment to democracy and the rule of law," Jagland said. In the light of it, he urged Moldova to think of its "democratic security."

Moldova’s newly formed government must act quickly, he believes.

"Alongside the urgent measures needed to fix the banks, the government must immediately begin purging corrupt officials from public bodies," Jagland wrote.

He indicated that, as a start, the dozens of judges who have been accused of egregiously abusing their power should be investigated. "Law enforcement agencies must also do everything they can to arrest the individuals responsible for the massive bank fraud," he said.

Jagland said among other things that the key anti-corruption agencies — the Anti-Corruption Center, the National Integrity Commission and the General Prosecutor’s Office — "must be set on an independent footing, with clear powers and genuine muscle."

He stressed the importance of robust restrictions on party funding that would be necessary to weaken the grip of big money on politics.

"New rules will also be required to break up media monopolies and provide critical journalists with better protections," Jagland said.

"Despite years of disappointment, many Moldovans still hold great ambition for their country," he wrote. "They maintain that, freed from corruption, it can be transformed. But first, this captured state must be returned to its citizens."

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