Joint Press Statement by the President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Mrs. Maia Sandu

09:10 | 02 July 2019

The President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis, on Tuesday, 2 July 2019, at Cotroceni Palace, delivered a joint press statement together with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Mrs. Maia Sandu.

The translated transcript of the joint press statement can be read as follows:

President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis:

Good day!

Mrs. Prime Minister,

Mr. Deputy Prime Minister,

I gives me great pleasure to welcome, today, in Bucharest, Mrs. Maia Sandu, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, and Mr. Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Năstase, the leaders of the ACUM Bloc currently ruling the Republic of Moldova.

It is very important and meaningful that this first visit by Mrs. Prime Minister, by the leadership of the Government of the Republic of Moldova since they took office, is in Romania, in Bucharest.

It is important because Romania has been and will go on being the most consistent and committed supporter of the Republic of Moldova – directly, by concrete actions, in favour of the country’s democratic transformation and of reaching the prosperity and security standard its citizens aspire at and of its keeping the European course.

It is meaningful, as Romania upheld, through its actions, the peaceful transfer of power that took place in Chișinău on 14 June, which put an end to the political crisis.

I conveyed – and now I take the opportunity to reiterate it – to Mrs. Sandu and Mr. Năstase, much success in fulfilling this mandate, which is not an easy one at all. At the same time, I would like to assure them again of the full support by Romania and by me personally for the efforts the Government in Chișinău is undertaking, in view of the clear and concrete terms of the agreement assumed by the new ruling coalition for the Republic of Moldova’s European course and for advancing the bilateral Strategic Partnership for the Republic of Moldova’s European Integration.

Therefore, I highlighted the resolute support by Romania on these directions.   

Additionally, I informed my distinguished guests of Romania’s readiness to grant assistance, based on specific requests by the Government in Chișinău, devoted to consolidating the institutions in the Republic of Moldova.

Hence, at my initiative, the Presidential Administration has already sent the Government of Romania the proposal to set up a panel of experts from relevant ministries who, together with experts appointed by the Government of the Republic of Moldova, will urgently identify where such assistance is required and, based on this endeavour, specific projects will be launched.

Our side, Romania, has already set up the panel who has already had a first meeting. I welcome that Mrs. Prime Minister Sandu has answered yes to this proposal. I will personally track the way the Governments of Romania and of the Republic of Moldova are developing this initiative. 

Moreover, today we have pointed up the importance to carry on the bilateral cooperation projects run by Romania jointly and inside the Republic of Moldova, mainly the strategic ones dealing with the energy interconnection.

Our approach on developing the bilateral projects will focus on the need to ensure prosperity for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova and to get Chișinău closer to the European Union.

I strongly believe that the European Union, in accordance with its pledges for the Republic of Moldova through the Eastern Partnership, through the European Union’s Global Strategy, has to measure up to the expectations of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, who in a majority voiced their endorsement for the European agenda, as the European elections in 2019 also confirmed.

During the talks held today, I reminded the efforts I, in person, have taken at European Union level to support the Republic of Moldova.

As you well know, I obtained the European Union’s commitment to supporting by concrete measures the reforms in the Republic of Moldova being included in the European Council Conclusions in June.

Furthermore, Romania, in collaboration with its European partners, will underpin the unblocking of the financial assistance given by the European Union to the Republic of Moldova, which is needed in investment for the reforms, as well as sending European experts, surely Romanians among them, the activity of the bilateral Commission for the Republic of Moldova’s European integration being relaunched and other such measures.

Additionally, today I have reiterated the crucial importance Romania places on the regulation of the conflict in Transnistria, while respecting the Republic of Moldova’s territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and keeping its pro-European vector unaltered.

Moreover, I have stressed again the importance to consolidate and protect the community of language, culture and history our special relation with the Republic of Moldova is grounded in.

I thank the two high-level guests, Mrs. Prime Minister, Mr. Deputy Prime Minister, for their visit! Mrs. Prime Minister, please take the floor!

Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Mrs Maia Sandu:

Your Excellency, Mr President,

Honoured audience,

I am happy and honoured to be back in Bucharest, this time as the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova.

I thank Mr. President Klaus Iohannis for the invitation. We accepted it very gratefully.

This is my first bilateral official visit after I took over my mandate and it eloquently proves the importance and interest the new Government of the Republic of Moldova places on the special and privileged relations with Romania, which are being developed through the Strategic Partnership for the Republic of Moldova’s European Integration.

We highly need Romania’s support, particularly as we are bonded not only by mutual economic interests, but also by the same fundament of history, culture and values.

Unfortunately, what the oligarchic regime has left behind in the Republic of Moldova is very difficult to bear by our citizens. These people have ruined our country’s economy, have turned the public institutions into personal businesses and have isolated the Republic of Moldova internationally.

We trust in Romania staying with us, as the main ally of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, and assisting us in our European course.

The debates during the meeting we had were honest and very definite. The issues we addressed, but more important, the ways to solve them, proved our mutual interest and commitment to preserving the status quo of the Republic of Moldova and to carrying on its course towards modernisation.

We shared opinions on the social and economic situation in the Republic of Moldova and the actions the Government in Chișinău is going to take in the coming period to respond efficiently to our citizens’ aspirations, as well as to our foreign partners’ expectations, mainly with regard to the rule of law, the judiciary reform, the fight against corruption, fraud investigations, particularly in banking, strengthening interaction with the civil society, ensuring the independence of the media and many more.

We have requested high-level support, assistance and advice from Romania. Our Government is willing to develop joint projects with Romania and voices its openness for Romanian investment initiatives.

The Republic of Moldova’s European agenda serves as the guideline for our relations with Romania, while the Strategic Partnership for the European Integration will play a central role in the activity of the pro-European Government in Chișinău.

I took the opportunity to reiterate our thankfulness and gratitude for the assistance we have received in implementing the Association Agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the European Union, the projects that Romania has funded and the support on the political dialogue with the European Union.

I voiced my trust that this support will be granted further, to help the Republic of Moldova and its citizens get closer to the European values and surpass the difficulties and challenges we are facing.

I reiterated our interest in a series of joint actions and initiatives – to continue the programmes of refurnishing schools and kindergartens, the projects in protecting the environment, water supply networks for the rural population, energy interconnection and projects in transportation.

I highlighted that if we managed to fully carry out these projects the citizens’ trust in the correctness of the Strategic Partnership between the Republic of Moldova and Romania would increase more.

In the end, I would like to thank again the Romanian authorities and the Romanian citizens for the consistent and sincere support they give to the Republic of Moldova on various levels.

Furthermore, I would like to thank our colleagues in Romania for the openness they proved in advancing all the aspects on the meeting agenda today.

I am confident that the new aims we set today will contribute further to diversifying and enhancing our bilateral cooperation, which is already very good, and stands for a highly fruitful chapter of our Strategic Partnership.

Thank you!

Questions and Answers Session:

Journalist: Mrs. Prime Minister, Mr. President, I would like to ask you, keeping in mind the progress already registered by the Republic of Moldova in implementing the reforms the European Union has requested to Moldova in order to accede to the EU, how soon do you consider it will happen, I mean, Moldova’s accession to the European Union, and whether you count on the required financial support? Thank you!

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Mrs. Maia Sandu: We are aware that the process of accession is a difficult one. We also admit that, mainly in the latest years, the Republic of Moldova or its ruling people pretended to be pro-European, instead they acted against the European values and standards. Now this is the phase in which we have to regain the trust of the European institutions. We consider this process important because we want the European standards to be implemented in the Republic of Moldova, we want our citizens to enjoy the same living standard as the one the citizens of the European Union enjoy and, above all, we want to govern responsibly, like the governments in the European Union’s Member States do.

We have a very specific agenda, the Association Agreement, that we have to put into practice, and I am sure that when we prove serious commitment, specific results in implementing the Association Agreement, there will be enough openness for the next negotiation phases with the European Union.

The President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis: I think I have said it before, but today I it gives me a great deal of pleasure to repeat: Romania is fully committed to supporting the Republic of Moldova in its European course. More specific, at bilateral institutional level we are going to support all the efforts resulting in strengthening, reforming, consolidating the public institutions, the whole state architecture in the Republic of Moldova, taking into account the need of institutional democratic, and obviously, economic consolidation. As for the relation with the authorities in Brussels, we will be fully committed to facilitating and enhancing the dialogue between the authorities in the Republic of Moldova and those in Brussels. Surely the most relevant role will be played by the Republic of Moldova itself, yet, in my opinion, things can be pushed forward and I am sure that, in the end, this course will prove successful.

Journalist: Mrs. Prime Minister, you have went through a political crisis. I would like to know how sure you are that the alliance with the pro-Russians endorsed by Mr. Igor Dodon will go well further on.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Mrs. Maia Sandu: It is true that the political partnership we, the ACUM Bloc and the Socialists’ Party, signed is quite unusual, but this was the only option to get rid of a corrupted regime, an anti-democratic regime that cancelled the elections when they did not like the results, that impoverished a whole nation, that terrorised the people who refused to submit to the regime and when we signed this political partnership we set specific actions, decisions, policies aimed at setting the country free from captivity. This is what is happening now, if you are in touch with the media in Chișinău. We are cleaning the public institutions and, which is very important, we have reached the stage when we bring independent, proficient people as leaders of the institutions of public order and not only, who are enough brave and at ease to implement  the reforms the Republic of Moldova so badly needs. We are in course of restoring the public authorities, because earlier the state was submitted to private interests and exploited to squeeze economic benefits. We have this agreement, we have also the vote of the Socialists’ Party for our governing programme, which reads specifically that this government’s activity is based on the provisions of the Association Agreement. Obviously, time will show how durable this partnership will prove to be, but for the moment, both sides are honouring their pledges.

The President of Romania, Mr. Klaus Iohannis: Excellent! Thank you!