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Igor Dodon’s statements about the Association Agreement with the EU oscillated between “should be annulled” and “should be reviewed”, but the attitude is clearly negative. The authors of a new Sic! article say the President repeatedly stated that after signing the Agreement, Moldova lost the Russian market and gained nothing instead, but things stand differently as a matter of fact, IPN reports.
In the first part of the series President Dodon versus statistics, the authors showed how Russia and the CIS were outstripped by Romania and the EU by commercial significance for Moldova. The new article examines the impact of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement of the Association Agreement that was signed in 2014. The authors say the President is right when he says that Moldova lost the Russian market, but this is not the result of the Association Agreement. It is actually a consequence of the ban imposed by Moscow before the signing of the Agreement. Thus, after the ban imposed in 2013, Moldova’s exports to Russia declined from US$ 423 million in 2014 to US$ 233 million in 2016.
The article says the political motivation of the ban is evident. In Moldova’s case, Moscow could yet invoke that it protects itself from the invasion of European goods. However, Russia’s recent ban on the import of wines from Montenegro, imposed because Podgorica ratified the entry into NATO, has nothing to do with trade.
Despite Igor Dodon’s assertions, the value of Moldova’s trade with the EU rose after the signing of the Agreement, from US$ 1.24 billion in 2014 to US$ 1.33 billion in 2016. Moreover, as the prices decreased on the international markets between 2012 and 2016, the value of trade with the EU rose slower than the quantity of sold goods. “In other words, if we look at the volume, we see that exports to the EU grew by 29.4% between 2014 and 2016. Also, exports to the EU rose faster than imports and Moldova’s balance-of-trade halved, from - US$1.3 billion in 2014 to - US$ 614 million in 2016. The diminution of the trade deficit with the EU partially offset the losses caused by the Russian ban,” says the article.
In the period, the trade balance with the Commonwealth of Independent States remained relatively stable: - US$ 713 million in 2014 and - US$ 613 million in 2016. In conclusion, the authors of the article say the Association Agreement and DCFTA haven’t been by far an economic disaster for Moldova, as it was anticipated. On the contrary, Moldova’s exports to the EU rose both in terms of value and of quantity and the balance-of-trade improved significantly. The full article can be read here (Romanian).
Sic! is a fact-checking, synthesis and analysis project implemented by IPN with support from Soros Foundation Moldova and the Black Sea Trust.
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