INTERVIEW. Natalia Gherman, foreign minister: Moldova will resist pressures of Moscow

Moldova is determined to resist pressure of Moscow , to not sign a free trade agreement with the European Union, regardless of the consequences. Commitment was taken Moldovan Foreign Minister Natalia Gherman at Madrid, where he given to Digi 24, Ciprian Bălţoiu an exclusive interview.
Natalia Gherman, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Republic of Moldova / PHOTO: AFP

From Madrid, where it is in an official visit, Moldovan Foreign Minister Natalia Gherman, says she expects pressure from Moscow, but the Russian Federation shall forward that Moldova’s European aspirations will not give up, regardless of the consequences. Furthermore, the diplomat believes in Chisinau Moldova closer to Brussels will lead to relations and co-ordinated with Romania. In addition, European integration will contribute to the reunification of the country and the separatist Transnistria region and it will be found in the European Union.

Reporter : You are in a European capital , a large capital of the European Union . Always there is a concern about the direction that goes Moldova … is clear and definitive or strong winter comes a Crivăţ East , cut and gas and is left about Moldova? It is clear direction to the European Union or changes can occur ?

Natalia Gherman : As long as I represent the government continues its reform process , are very comfortable and have a support in the Parliament, you can ensure that the development strategy of the Republic of Moldova will not change . I understand very well that the geopolitical situation in the region that I represent is not simple at all, and the 2014 elections in Moldova elections likely to become different assumptions and models integration and geopolitical and I very much regret this development , not at all easy and enjoyable for us, in Moldova , but I suspect it will be reality .

So instead of introducing the campaign elements like creating jobs or more social programs , we enter the campaign trying to convince people that the European Union model that we have chosen and which has been the choice of most people Moldova is one effective model that will turn to modernize Moldova and that will really make a European country such as Romania , as is Spain .

Just because you were talking to that part of the population that voted majority , but there is still a strong part of the population that is nostalgic rightly 40-50 years after which they were always told what is beyond the Prut is bad and what is good comes from the East , how to get there ? For the integration in the European Union not only bring wealth, social class differences make … how you will explain Romanians , Moldovans , who will vote in the elections next year , however, that it’s better in the west ?

Natalia Gherman : I am , indeed , many elements of speculation , there are many elements to manipulate public opinion which unfortunately manifested by opposition political opposition in Moldova – which is the Communist Party. As long as we go through the difficult period of ambitious reforms deep into society in Moldova , there will always be those who will speculate on the difficulties and hardships . Too bad there is political consensus and it is a pity that the whole society and the whole political class is in power or in opposition, not yet support European integration. I admit that I was not the best communicators , until now and I find that sometimes I have communicated better country outside of the European integration effort and reform than in our country.

I ask more directly … resist Moldova alone in a very tough winter ?

Natalia Gherman : Hold on!

Without the influence of the East ?

Natalia Gherman : Hang in there, of course, influence and pressure from the East , unfortunately, will increase. I do not think we will see steady growth otherwise than as our eastern neighbors are trying to promote a different model integrationist civilization if desired integration into the so-called Customs Union and the Eurasian Union , which by the way does not exist yet , but which is to them an alternative model for Moldova.

Fear of retaliation if the document signed in Vilnius ? ( Association with the European Union – n.r. ) ?

Natalia Gherman : This model is bolstered by the opposition in Moldova and on account of this model are very much speculation at this point in Moldova. So we are not afraid of pressure from the East. First, you have to communicate much better and we have already started this effort in the country , supported by colleagues in the European Union, pro-European media in Moldova and I think the success of this effort. And secondly , if we look at all the assumptions of purely technical standpoint , the consumption of natural gas on the right side is fully paid Moldova Russian Federation. There are no prerequisites for disconnected access to natural gas , so instead , negotiate with the Russian Federation a formula that will calculate the price of buying gas . So next year, we will reach an intergovernmental agreement on energy. On the other hand, I managed to get full in the Energy Community Treaty and the European Union already feel that solidarity is manifested in the EU’s energy record of Moldova. And most important element occurred on August 27 this year , when together with the Prime Minister Ponta and colleagues Romanian government , in the presence of the European Commissioner for Energy, Mr Oettinger , we launched the construction of an alternative pipeline that will connect between Moldova closer to the natural gas market of the European Union via Romania.

Return and insist. If this agreement is signed in Vilnius , as Moldova wants , believe that all these agreements to the East will stand? Wine exports to Russia were blocked , many foreign citizens working in Russia , including Moldovans were expelled , does not show anything right , Transnistria is still there , the Russian army is still there …

Natalia Gherman : Yes , we resist. Because our people , the majority , made a sovereign choice reflected in the composition of parliament in Moldova for the European Union. In Vilnius we stamp Association Agreement which includes free trade area . We will sign the agreement as soon as possible in 2014 and we implement interim . What inspires me to be more optimistic than pessimistic is that solidarity and support – which became evident shortly after the start of pressures – from the European Union , which greatly inspires us , the liberalization of the EU market for exports of Moldovan wines , a decision which was taken , by the way , the proposal Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Cioloş , so emergency EU decision to support the Republic of Moldova on the energy , hope it will come into force and the decision on the liberalization of the visa regime for Moldovan citizens that expect forward in 2014. So all these elements support both symbolic and practical are encouraging and inspires optimism well founded . We will resist and we will go to the European Union .

For practical things you were talking … Moldovans were very practice before Romania to join the EU , it was so interesting , and then , once inside the EU, interest skyrocketed and Romanian citizenship . It is a path in the future the two peoples , which are really the same thing, Romanian , reach inside the European Union to exist without that patch border … by Romanian citizens , Romanian passports , much closer economic cooperation is it possible … ?

Natalia Gherman : you and answer your own question ! The two governments and the two companies are divided only by the rill , Prut , think the same. So once both nations will gather , will be found within the EU , there is no other way and I find that is the best , most efficient and fastest way to reunite . The same values ​​, the same language , the same history , but two different states, one state has already entered the EU and NATO and now exert maximum effort to lead and Moldova in the value space where we find all .

With or without Transnistria?

Natalia Gherman : With Transnistria ! Yes ! In Transnistria ! Look what happens on the branch of reunification. The more we join the European Union , we upgraded our Europeanise , the easier it will be to negotiate reunification . On the basis of criteria, standards and European perspective. If Ukraine will sign the association agreement and free trade will be in Vilnius and implementation effort , the geopolitical realities in our region will change , it will change for the better for us.


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