Books on Moldova
Leu (plural: Lei)
Update No: 294 - (28/06/05)
Moldova asks EU to help solve frozen Dnestr row
The separatist Transnistria region has been a thorn in the side of the Moldovan
government since the Romanian-speaking country achieved independence from the
Soviet Union in 1991. Russian speakers in Dnestr set up their own mini-state
even before the collapse of Soviet rule and, after a brief war in 1992, still
control what they call the Transnistrian Moldavian Republic. Moldova sees the
region as a haven for smugglers and arms dealers, which is beyond dispute.
Transnistria has long been infamous for these illicit activities.
Moscow keeps 1,000 troops there, despite agreeing to remove them, saying they
keep the two sides apart and oversee large quantities of weaponry and
ammunition. It is patently uninterested in really solving the problem, indeed
benefits financially from the shenanigans going on.
Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin says the troops are impeding a settlement.
Anger over Russia's stance has driven Voronin, a communist, to seek closer ties
with the EU. He was first elected on a pro-Moscow ticket in 2001, but was
re-elected by parliament earlier this year on a pledge to move towards EU
membership. He is now an ardent pro-Westerner.
Voronin asked the European Union on June 7th to monitor the country's border in
the Dnestr region, potentially helping end the long-standing frozen conflict.
Voronin handed EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana a letter, jointly signed by
Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko, which effectively asks the EU to take
over efforts to resolve the problem from Moscow. "We kindly ask you to
examine the possibilities for offering assistance in establishing an
international customs control on the Transnistrian segment of the Ukrainian-Moldovan
state border, as well as for creating an effective international monitoring
mechanism on this segment of the border," the letter reads.
The letter he gave Solana followed a plan to resolve the Dnestr question first
put forward by Yushchenko. Moldova is wedged between Romania and Ukraine, and
seeks the support of both in ending the problem. Ukraine under its previous
president enabled Transnistria to survive and apparently shared in its
international arms trading & smuggling.
"I hope very much that discussions between Mr Yushchenko and Mr Solana on
Mr Yushchenko's proposal will be very fruitful and would make progress for the
reunification of the Republic of Moldova," Voronin told a news briefing
after talks with Solana. Solana, who said he would visit Moldova soon, was
cautious, saying he needed to analyse the letter before deciding how to react.
"The European Union is always willing ... to see if we can be of any help
to control that border," he said. "It would be too early for me to say
what is the mechanism, or even what is going to be the task ... but we are going
to analyse the possibilities and if the possibilities exist we will help as much
as we can."
Solana recently appointed former Dutch diplomat Adriaan Jacobovits de Szeged as
his special representative to Moldova, ordering him to help end the Dnestr
question. The EU wants it cleared up before Romania joins the bloc, possibly in
Moldova farmers in the spotlight
An instance of the fall-out from the Dnestr region is evident in the adjacent
security zone along the Rabnitsa-Dubasari-Tiraspol route. Because of the illegal
actions taken by the Transnistria authorities, the farmers in the security zone
could not harvest the yield and suffered considerable losses. It was not
specified by Reuters exactly what these activities were; but that they were
nefarious is highly likely, such is the nature of the regime there.
Moldova's government is working on a draft law for the cancellation of penalties
for non-payment of taxes by these farmers possessing land nearby the route.
Prime Minister, Vasile Tarlev, ordered the document to be presented to the
government for adoption and then to parliament for examination.
At a working meeting measures were to be taken to ameliorate the social-economic
situation of the residents of these villages. They were put to disadvantage last
year and their social-economic situation was worse than in other districts of
Moldova FDI rises in 2004
In line with its new pro Western stance, it is appropriate that the volume
of the foreign direct investment (FDI) attracted to Moldova in 2004 doubled if
compared with 2003. It surged 101% to US$184.5m in 2004, the Moldovan Export
Promotion Organisation said.
According to the data, the influx of FDI to Moldova's economy in 2003 had
constituted US$91.75m. This considerable investment growth, registered in 2004,
was conditioned by the volume of the reinvested profits, which increased 387% to
FOREIGN ECONOMIC COOPERATION
Moldova, Croatia sign two economic agreements
Moldovan President, Vladimir Voroni, and his Croatian counterpart, Stjepan Mesic,
recently signed two documents on economic cooperation between the two states: an
agreement on avoiding double taxation of incomes and property and a document on
mutual support and cooperation in customs services, Basapress News Agency
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Nicolae Gumenii, the deputy director of the
Moldovan Customs Service, said the two documents provide for a permanent
exchange of commercial information between the two states and for consolidating
efforts to boost trade and fight smuggling.
Gumenii said that the Moldovan-Croatian trade totalled US$1.6m in the first
quarter of 2005, with both exports and imports standing at US$800,000.
Statistics show that Moldovan exports to Croatia totalled US$7,400 in 2004 and
Stjepan Mesic arrived on a two-day official visit to Moldova at the invitation
of his Moldovan counterpart, Vladimir Voronin. This was the second visit by
Mesic to Moldova.
"We hope that specific areas for stepping up economic cooperation will be
established as a result of my visit and the talks which were held, and also as a
result of Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin's reciprocal visit to
Croatia," he said.
Croatian business circles are interested in investing in such sectors as
processing of agricultural products, manufacturing, and operation of gas and oil
deposits. Joint ventures can be set up in these sectors. At the same, time the
Danube river, which has been blocked for a long time, is now open and can turn
into a bridge between the Republic of Moldova and Croatia.
3G telephony operator to pay US$8m for licence
National Regulatory Agency in Telecommunications and Informatics (ANRTI)
announced the investment contest for selling a licence authorising the provision
of third-generation (3G) mobile phone service in CDMA 2000 standard, in the
450-megahertz frequency band, Reporter MD reported recently.
The third licence for the provision of cellular mobile telephone services in
Moldova will be sold for US$8m. The other two operators that are currently
activite on the Moldovan market in GSM-900 standard - "Voxtel" and
"Moldcell" paid the same sum for their licences.
The licence will be granted for a period of 15 years and will be valid on the
whole territory of Moldova. The persons willing to take part in the contest must
purchase the conditions of contract for US$1000, money which is
non-reimbursable. The deadline for submitting offers was June 30th 2005. At the
end of July 2004, ANRTI issued an individual licence authorising the closed type
joint stock company InterDnestrCom from Tiraspol to furnish cellular mobile
telephone services in CDMA standard. It paid US$1m.