Books on Moldova
Leu (plural: Lei)
Update No: 306 - (29/06/06)
The Kremlin turns nasty
Moldova is receiving the usual Russian bully-boy treatment at the moment. This
is in retaliation for the selective ban on trade with Transnistria.
Moscow is taking very hostile measures against Moldova, charging it full world
prices for gas, while banning Moldovan wine imports, formerly its economic
The vintners and workers in the wine industry are contemplating moves to impeach
President Vladimir Voronin, who is deemed to have been largely responsible for
the deterioration in relations. But most Moldovans back his stand on
Transnistria, the secessionist region, which is a notorious haven for gangsters
Georgian, Moldovan Breakaway Provinces Pledge Cooperation
The separatist leaders of Georgia's breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South
Ossetia and Moldova's Transnistria have vowed to support each other's
independence aspirations. All three are creatures of Moscow.
In a joint declaration at the end of a two-day meeting in mid-June in the Abkhaz
capital of Sukhum (Sukhumi), Abkhazia's Sergei Bagapsh, South Ossetia's Eduard
Kokoity, and Transnistria's Igor Smirnov said peoples' right to
self-determination is universal and should not be upheld selectively, RFE/RL
In an apparent reference to the May referendum in which Montenegro voted to
break away from a union with Serbia, Bagapsh told RFE/RL on June 13 that the
international community should not apply double standards when it comes to
self-determination. "I think that in an international legal sense, Abkhazia
and all the republics that are represented here have a much stronger case for
international recognition," he said. "There's just one thing I don't
understand - the double standard, when somebody is allowed [to choose
independence] and somebody is not. Take a look at our history and it will be
clear that [independence] is a completely feasible thing."
They also called for the continued deployment of Russian troops on their
territory. They said stability in the regions depends on the presence of
The three internationally unrecognized regions broke away from Georgia and
Moldova in civil wars after the 1991 Soviet collapse. All three maintain close
ties with Russia.
Russian wine ban has dealt a blow to Moldova's economy - PM
The Russian ban on Moldovan alcoholic drinks has dealt a blow to the country's
economy, Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev said recently. Russia placed an embargo on
wine and other alcoholic drinks from Moldova and Georgia on March 27.
Speaking at a news conference in the Moldovan capital with Johan Mathisen,
Intentional Monetary Fund Resident Representative in the Republic of Moldova,
Tarlev said: "The embargo is having a negative influence on the economy,
but we are taking measures to reduce this effect, including cooperation with
international organizations, including the IMF."
Tarlev, who did not specify the losses his country has sustained from the ban,
said Moldova needed to diversify its export market.
"We have come to conclusions that were unfortunately not made when the
complex situation arose in 1998 at the time of the [Russian] default," he
said. "Having moved on from this crisis, Moldova will become economically
more stable, and will not depend on any one consumer country."
Romanian EU entry threatens Moldova trade
Suspension of the free trade agreement between Moldova and Romania on
January 1, 2007, when Romania is expected to join the European Union (E.U.),
will destabilise the trade balance between the two states, according to Mircea
Toader, undersecretary of the Romanian Ministry of Economy and Commerce.
The foreign trade between Romania and Moldova totalled 412 million dollars in
2005, with a negative balance of 240 million dollars for Moldova. Exports to
Romania turned over 85 million dollars last year, while imports accounted for
326 million dollars, according to Romanian statistics.
"The situation could change after January 1, 2007, as the Romanian exports
will be taxed in the same measure as other E.U. member states, while Moldova
benefits from the GSP plus system which allows the exportation of about 7,200
types of products to the E.U. without paying customs duties," Toader stated
The official estimated that the new trade regime "will affect the bilateral
trade for a while until the situation normalises and companies get used to the
new taxation system."
On the other hand, the Romanian official estimated that Moldovan small companies
will be encouraged to cooperate with Romanian enterprises by "taking into
account the territorial proximity, the same spoken language and other advantages
in this regard."
Once Romania joins the E.U. on January 1, 2007, Bucharest will withdraw from all
free trade agreements, including with Moldova. Romania's entry in E.U. will mean
the entry into a new legal framework of foreign commercial relations.
Besides the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), Romania has signed
free trade agreements with Moldova, Turkey, Israel, Serbia-Montenegro, Albania,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the European Free Trade Association.
Chisinau says that the suspension of the free trade agreement with Romania will
not affect the trade exchanges, being optimistic to obtain an asymmetrical trade
regime with the E.U. in 2007.
Voronin cleaves to anti-corruption policy
Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin has stated the country leadership shall
not tolerate inflation in the country, and shall be waging a war against
corruption "irrespective of personalities." The head of state attended
a joint working meeting of the Boards of the Information and Security Service (ISS)
and the Centre for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption. Voronin highlighted
the need to concentrate and coordinate the efforts of the two structures in the
struggle against particularly grand corruption - among high-ranked state
officials, employees at law-enforcement, judiciary, various controlling organs,
The President demanded from the ISS and the Centre to work out and implement
measures to prevent and combat corruption in all spheres and at all levels of
the public governance. He demanded to urgently consider the possibility to
perfect the relevant legal frame to ensure possibilities to check those
officials seeking sensitive appointments. He demanded that the legislation
should make it mandatory for state officials to declare their incomes and
expenditures even in case of their promotion or appointment to another position.
Voronin demanded the creation within the Centre for Combating Organized Crime
and Corruption of a special structure for anti-corruption examination of bills
being submitted to Parliament. He believes such a body should attract
specialists from various state structures and the representatives of the
Moldovan civil society.
Touching on the efficiency of the anti-corruption struggle, Vladimir Voronin
emphasized the need for an adequate analysis, generalization and regulation of
the punitive practice. He insisted on an urgent amendment of the Constitution
and relevant legislation, namely to introduce confiscation of personal property
in such cases as corruption, terrorism, money laundering.
He said it is necessary to put an end to the obsolete "and sometimes even
funny" practice of excessive classifying of information. He believes that
the time is ripe to improve and rationalize the Law on State Secrecy and the
nomenclature list of information data attributed to the state secrecy category.
The head of state stressed the vital need for attracting the population to
The following is a no doubt partial assessment of Moldova's long-term political
future by an insider:-
Moldovan politician: Vladimir Voronin wants to remain Moldova's last
Taking into account the current situation in Moldova, the most fantastic
scenarios are possible, the leader of Patria-Rodina Labor Union Georgy Sima has
told a REGNUM correspondent in an interview on June 13. "Vladimir Voronin
wants to remain Moldova's last president. So, on the threshold of the elections
the Communist faction in the Moldovan Parliament can abolish the presidential
position, fulfilling at least one of its promises," the politician said.
Georgy Sima did not rule out that the elections could be held much earlier than
in 2009, and right-wing political forces can come to replace the Communists.
"It is hardly possible that this will be the Christian Democratic People's
Party led by Yuri Rosca. Despite the fact that Yuri Rosca is one of the most
experienced Moldovan politicians of the post-Soviet time, and the Christian
Democratic People's Party is the oldest one with a branch network of its
regional activists, the days of this political organization and its leader are
counted. By publicly supporting the Communists, on fighting whom their previous
ideology was grounded, the party automatically lost its right to further
represent views of the section of the electorate that was traditionally
anti-Communist, sympathized with the right-wing forces and supported them at the
elections. The 'new right-wing' forces are much more interesting now. It was
Serafim Urekian who finally brought his Our Moldova Alliance to the right camp.
To all appearances, he plans to settle there down for the whole time of the
party's life," the politician noted.
Georgy Sima did not rule out another scenario: the third victory by the
Communists. "Theoretically, the scenario of a third 'Red triumph' has a
right to exist, but chances are narrow that it would be fulfilled. Facts have
shown, that ratings of the Communist Party continue to decrease. Deriving from
it, one can predict that the Moldovan Communists have passed their peak already.
Yet, they still remain quite an influential political force to be represented
again in the parliament of 2009. But, most probably, they will have not so many
seats that could let them dominate in the power. So, they will have to look for
political allies and, henceforth, compromise," Sima is quoted as saying.
Exports down 10% in January-April
Moldovan exports dropped 10 per cent to US$313 million in January-April 2006, a
source at the National Statistics Bureau said recently, Interfax News Agency
It was the first decline in recent years, the source said. "The Russian
embargo on Moldovan wine, which was announced in late March, caused the problem.
Therefore, Moldovan deliveries to a major trade partner fell 31.2 per cent since
the beginning of the year. In the past, Russia received 36.1 per cent of
Moldova's total exports, and now the rate is 27.6 per cent," the source
said. Moldovan exports to Commonwealth of Independent States member countries
reduced by 13.4 per cent to US$152.5 million, while exports to EU member
countries went down 0.4 per cent to US$94.2 million in January-April, the source
said. Meanwhile, Moldovan imports grew 14 per cent to US$734.3 million. Some
42.1 per cent of commodities were imported from CIS member countries. Imports
from the EU totalled US$216.8 million.