The Moldovan-Russian intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation will meet next week in Chişinău, after a three-year break. The announcement was made at a press conference, held in Moscow, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Nicu Popescu, and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov.
Minister Nicu Popescu highlighted the importance of coordinated steps in the direction of intensifying bilateral trade-economic relations and exploiting the existing potential. The parties showed their intention to fully relaunch the economic relations and to remove all the barriers existing in the Moldovan-Russian economic relations. At the same time, the Moldovan minister reiterated that the signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union, which includes the Free Trade Area, is not in contradiction with the Free Trade Zone within the CIS.
The head of the Moldovan diplomacy expressed his hope that the next meeting, which will be held in Chișinău, of the Moldovan-Russian intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation will be a good platform for identifying specific ways to overcome the accumulated problems, which hinder the development of bilateral trade.
In regard to the Transnistrian issue and the role of the Russian Federation as a mediating state in this process, the Moldovan minister reiterated the priority of withdrawing the Russian troops deployed in the Transnistrian region, whose presence on the territory of Moldova goes against the principle of neutrality stipulated in the country's Constitution. Nicu Popescu welcomed Russia's eagerness to relaunch the dialogue regarding the withdrawal and destruction of ammunition stored in the military depot in Cobasna in the Transnistrian region of the Republic of Moldova and expressed the hope that this topic would be discussed as soon as possible with all international actors, under the aegis of the OSCE.
The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs said that in the commercial-economic sector, where many issues were accumulated, all high level agreements were made. Thus, according to him, several steps were taken to simplify the access to the Russian market of Moldovan agricultural and wine products. In this context, the increase of the commercial exchange of goods was mentioned, which during last year increased by almost 30%, exceeding 1.5 billion dollars.
Sergey Lavrov said that, besides the meeting of the Moldovan-Russian intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation, it was discussed that, by the end of September, this time in Moscow, the second Moldovan-Russian economic forum will take place. In his view, such interactions between entrepreneurs are important for identifying and solving problems. The Russian minister said that during the talks it was agreed to activate and provide regular contacts between the diplomatic services of the two countries. According to him, the Transnistrian settlement was also discussed. The Russian side expressed its readiness to continue to fulfill the role of mediator during the negotiations. The Russian minister welcomes the 5+2 format meetings, which will be held in the near future. In his opinion, these meetings should be regular in nature and must be more frequently held.
Sergey Lavrov added that the priority of the Russian Federation in bilateral relations remains to support the statehood of the Republic of Moldova and a strong state leadership which will maintain stability.