MOSCOW, June 2. /TASS/. The 2014 signing of an association agreement between Moldova and the European Union was a mistake, Moldovan President Igor Dodon said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda daily, published on Friday.
"My stance has remained unchanged, although some people hoped that I would say one thing in Moscow and another in Brussels. However, I have always said frankly that the signing of the EU association agreement was a mistake. Back in 2014, it was a geopolitical move that was profitable for Europe, not Moldova," Dodon said.
"Our domestic political forces needed this agreement to show during the parliamentary campaign that they managed to achieve something. But from the economic point of view, we jumped the gun and lost the Russian market," he added.
According to the president, the country’s exports more than halved in 2015-2016.
"We opened the market to the flow of European goods that kill our manufacturers. Dozens of thousands of jobs were lost, people are leaving the country," he said. "That’s why the association agreement, or at least its economic section, will be scrutinized when we get the parliamentary majority."
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.
Dodon, who won presidential elections in Moldova in November 2016 said he would hold a referendum on cancelling the agreement. He also suggested a three-party format of trade talks, involving the European Union, Moldova and Russia.