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Moldova Moves Closer to Russia-Led Trade Bloc: President

Not so fast, rejoins the prime minister, who recently inked a new agreement with the EU.

19 April 2017

Moldova’s status as an observer at the Eurasian Economic Union does not necessarily mean it will soon join the EAEU, President Igor Dodon (pictured) says.

 

Russia and the four other former Soviet states that make up the trade area awarded Moldova observer status at a summit in Bishkek Friday, EurActiv reports.

 

Dodon’s vow to shift Moldova from an EU-directed to a pro-Russia path is a radical departure from the pro-EU policies of several successive ineffective and corruption-tarnished administrations.

 

After Dodon and the EAEU signed a cooperation agreement early this month, Prime Minister Pavel Filip retorted that responsibility for setting foreign policy rests with parliament and said the agreement has “no legal value.”

 

Although former Socialist Party leader Dodon insisted that EAEU observer status would not conflict with Moldova’s newly upgraded agreement with the EU, he has suggested that agreement could be scrapped if the Socialists win next year’s parliamentary elections, EurActiv says.

 

The EU will be watching to see that Moldova fulfills its obligations in light of its closer relationship with the EAEU, Reuters quotes a spokeswoman as saying.

 

Dodon recently accused “corrupt members of various, supposedly pro-EU governments” of stealing more than $800 million worth of EU funds over the last decade.

 

 

  • Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said EAEU membership had been a boon for his country. Trade turnover with other bloc members grew by more than 15 percent in 2016 and Armenian exports to the union jumped by 65 percent, he said in Bishkek, as reported by Armenian Public Radio.

 

  • Slowing global economic growth and “geopolitical convulsions,” however, were hampering the full functioning of the bloc, Sargysan added.

 

  • The Russia-led EAEU and China’s One Belt, One Road project are moving ahead with an integration strategy after signing a joint statement on cooperation last year, China’s ambassador to Russia, Li Hui, said yesterday, TASS reports.

 

  • Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also praised the cooperation between the two projects. Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the One Belt, One Road forum in Beijing next month, a separate TASS article says.

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

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