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Situation in Moldova worsens after EU association deal signed — president

February 08, 0:10 UTC+3 CHISINAU

The number of those supporting Moldova’s integration into the European Union has dropped from 60 to 38% since 2009

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Moldova President Igor Dodon

Moldova President Igor Dodon

©  AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

CHISINAU, February 7. /TASS/. The situation in Moldova has deteriorated after the signing of an association agreement with the European Union, despite optimistic anticipations of the former authorities, Moldova President Igor Dodon said on Tuesday at talks with European Council President Donald Tusk.

According to the press service of the Moldovan president, the Moldovan leader cited statistics demonstrating a dramatic deterioration in terms of macroeconomics, living standards, Corruption Perception Index, freedom of the mass media, etc. in the past two years. That is why the number of those supporting Moldova’s integration into the European Union has dropped from 60 to 38% since 2009.

"I confirmed that in case a decision is taken following regular or early parliamentary elections or at a referendum to revoke the association agreement with the European Union, I, as the country’s president, will support this initiative," Dodon said, adding that such results stemmed from "poor administration, double standards with geopolitical implications used by European officials in respect to everything that has been happening in Chisinau in these years."

During the talks with Tusk, Dodon also stressed that it is vitally important for his country to resume relations with Russia. "We have failed to expand exports to the European Union but have lost the market in Russia which used to be of major importance for our country for years," Dodon told TASS ahead of his visit to Brussels. He cited official statistics showing that Moldova’s exports to EU countries have diminished by 41 million U.S. dollars in the past two years in conditions of free trade with the European Union.

"Growth began only in the autumn of 2016, thanks to good harvest and seasonal factors. So, growing exports to the EU market cannot be considered as a tendency," he said, adding that Moldova’s expectations of an influx of foreign investments into its economy have turned failed too, with this index being by 17% lower than two years before the agreement came into force. The country’s public debt has gone up in the past six years by 2.3 times, which "is becoming burdensome in conditions of the low economic growth rates," he said.

Moldova signed an association and comprehensive free trade zone agreement with the European Union in June 2014. Under the agreement, the country was to open its market for European goods. In a bid to prevent re-export of such goods via Moldova, Russia imposed customs duties on a range of Moldovan products.

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