Igor Boțan: Moldova can cause serious headaches if it is not helped through foreign assistance

The international donors say they help Moldova because this is a small country that, if it is not helped to develop, can cause serious headaches in terms of trafficking in organs, small arms, drugs, etc. So, for the international community, it is much more advantageous to help the Republic of Moldova, to take it to a particular level, the standing expert of IPN’s project Igor Boțan stated in a public debate hosted by IPN News Agency.

“Moldova, as small as it is, should find an economic niche and should be integrated into a particular space from economic viewpoint. This mechanism works relatively well and we can also give examples. In 2001, the Party of Communists came to power with the slogan that we should integrate into the Russia-Belarus Union and in a year and a half, the President signed the European integration decree, in half a year after the European Union announced its new neighborhood strategy with a financial instrument. The European integration decree was signed in a month and a half after Chisinau hosted the CIS Summit in which the President of the Republic of Moldova and the President of Ukraine asked the President of the Russian Federation to constitute a customs union. Neither Ukraine nor Moldova ere successful then. Ten years later, the Customs Union became a fashionable political slogan, but the solution for Ukraine in those circumstances was the Euro-Atlantic integration, while for the Republic of Moldova – the European integration. This was done so as not to abandon our countries that could have easily become victims of energy blackmail,” said Igor Boțan.

He noted that in this process of transition, the international community, primarily the European Union that was in the process of enlargement, saw in the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, South Caucasus some partners that developed with the EU’s support, but kept the people at home. “It is better to offer support, initially grants and then loans at a very low interest rate. All these things, if we cover them step by step, can bring society to a level at which the country can develop, can be integrated into a space where there is a development course. This assistance is very well conceptualized as no one offers money just like that. The money is provided for particular purposes, with appropriate inspection so as to see the impact of such assistance, until a particular limit is reached and the country can further develop independently,” stated Igor Boțan.

He also said that the most important thing at the moment is that the current government has capacity and credibility to attract such resources in the form of foreign assistance. “In the first half of this year, the Republic of Moldova was promised about US$1.3 billion in foreign assistance. This means that the government is credible. At present, the Republic of Moldova experiences an energy crisis, sudden price rises, but the authorities, in general, coped with these crises. Those who come with support for the Republic of Moldova have inspection mechanisms to see if the money is spent for the right purpose. The big problem resides in our capacity to absorb this money and to use it for the announced purposes,” said the expert.

According to Igor Boțan, Moldovan society has an enormous capacity to control the proper utilization of the foreign assistance. “The external backers are appreciated in the Republic of Moldova. The main opposition party, it is political program says that the World Bank and other international financial institutions became traditional partners of the Republic of Moldova. Not even the ruling party of the Republic of Moldova praises the foreign backers so much. This is a positive example that should be appreciated,” he stated.

The public debate entitled “Socially responsible management of foreign assistance: mechanisms, guarantees, efficiency” was the 251st installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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