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Amnesty for migrant workers, Transnistrian conflict settlement, “Strategic Partnership”- topics discussed by Dodon and Putin during Moscow visit

On March 17th, Moldova’s President, Igor Dodon, met with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow. The meeting, a follow-up of the one from January 17th, was delayed by almost 4 hours, making Dodon wait for Putin.

The topics discussed by the two Presidents varied from the Moldovan exports to the much-promised “Strategic Partnership”.

First, Dodon thanked the Russian President for the positive solution to the problem of wine exports to Russia. He even brought, presumably as a gift, some wine bottles of Putin’s collection from Cricova cellars, to which the latter was surprised to receive gifts of his own.

Second, the Moldovan President expressed his gratitude for the migration amnesty for Moldovan migrant workers, at the same time asking to introduce a prolonged amnesty after March 20th for other 33 thousand Moldovan citizens with residence penalties. Putin reportedly promised to prolong the amnesty. In this context, another proposed measure was to sign a citizenship agreement on the dual citizenship, so that the Moldovans living in Russia do not give up their citizenship.

To stress his friendly position towards Russia, Dodon condemned and called “demarche” the note sent by the Parliament and Government regarding the abuses Moldovan officials recently faced at the Russian border control.

On the Transnistrian conflict settlement, Dodon told Putin he would plan a meeting with the Transnistrian leader Vadim Krasnoselsky until the end of March.

Last, but not least, Dodon proposed to the Russian leader to have a consultation on concluding a new Treaty of “Strategic Partnership” between Moldova and Russia, beside the already existing Friendship and Collaboration Treaty.

Dodon was accompanied by the Socialist leader and deputy, Zinaida Greceanîi, and his foreign policy adviser and future Ambassador to Russia, Andrei Neguță.

Before meeting Putin, President Dodon participated the Business Forum “Russia-Moldova”, together with Russian potential investors in Moldova. He declared that, on political level, he will always support the extension of economic relations between the two two states.

Currently studying International Relations at the University of Pécs, Hungary. Study focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Moldovan statehood, Moldovan democracy. Inquiries at [email protected]

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Economy

“State secret”: Finance Ministry refuses to publish EU letter “appreciating Moldova’s progress” on €100 mln. pact

22 May 2018- Newsmaker.md was refused by the Finance Ministry to obtain a copy of the letter of the European Commission on the fulfillment of the first 10 priority actions, necessary for disbursement of the €100 million fund.

Signed by Finance Minister Octavian Armașu, the refusal letter explains to Newsmaker that the letter contains information that is subject to the “state secret” protection due to the national security risks of publishing it.

In March 2018, Armașu declared that the letter from the DG ECFIN (European Commission) appreciated the efforts of the Moldovan authorities on the fulfillment of the first 10 (28, in total) conditions from the agreement on the 100 million euros macro-financial assistance.

This “appreciating” letter was then requested by the Chișinău-based Center for Policy and Reforms (CPR Moldova), but the request was refused on the claim that NGOs cannot request information from the state institutions. Now, CPR Moldova is suing the Finance Ministry for violating the access to information laws, suggesting that an NGO is nothing but an association of individuals, which should freely access information of public interest. Moreover, CPR is asking the Ministry to present a copy of the report on the implementation of the first 10 conditions for the disbursement of the first tranche of those 100 million euros.


On 23 November 2017, the Republic of Moldova signed the agreement with the European Union regarding the macro-financial assistance of 100 million euros: 40 million of grants and 60 million as a loan. The so-called MFA was requested in August 2015 and in March 2016 by the Moldovan authorities. After long debates on the conditionality, the European Parliament, and the EU Council came to an agreement to offer Moldova the macro-financial assistance for 2 years and a half in three tranches, whose disbursement is conditioned by a certain list of criteria. According to the agreement, the European Commission will monitor the progress on key reforms together with the International Monetary Fund.

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Politics

Dodon flies to St. Petersburg with a luxury plane paid for by a Russian businessman

24 May 2018- The President of Moldova, Igor Dodon, reportedly flew to Sankt-Petersburg with a luxury plan paid for by Russian businessman Andrei Nazarov, reports OMG.md and TV8.

Dodon used a Bombardier Challenger 850 of the Russian “Sirius Aero” (coming from Moscow’s Vnukovo) to fly from Chișinău to St.Petersburg. The plane had to avoid the Ukrainian airspace due to restrictions.

OMG.md estimates that a flight from Moscow with a 24h stop in Chișinău to St.Petersburg would cost around 120 thousand euros.

Dodon’s spokesperson Maxim Lebedinschi told the press that the president flew to St. Petersburg because there were free places on the plane, paid for by the Russian businessman Andrei Nazarov. Dodon is accordingly going to Delovaia Rossia forum, where he is expected to have a discussion with several Russian businessmen.

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Politics

Democrats win mayor seats in 4 villages, “Shor Party” VP Tauber gets mayor seat in Jora de Mijloc

21 May 2018- Besides Chișinău and Bălți, mayoral elections were held in five villages in Moldova.

In Jora de Mijloc, Orhei District, “Shor Party” Vice-President Marina Tauber won 61,07% of the votes. Her opponent, Democrat Lucia Terenti got 38,05%.

Marina Tauber

The small village got more attention not because the Orhei-born Tauber suddenly came to Jora de Mijloc to win the mayor seat, but because of the reported frauds and irregularities on the election day. Quoted by TV8, Promo-LEX found more than 10 violations in Jora de Mijloc: organized transport of voters, the presence of unauthorized persons next to the polling stations, the disconnection of security cameras in the center, taking photos of the voting ballot, etc. There were several reported cases of persons registering and taking photos of voters next to the polling station.

In other villages, Democrat mayors won with an overwhelming majority of votes:

  • Leușeni, Hâncești District- Ion Dragan, 90,79%;
  • Nemțeni, Hâncești District- Maria Ghițu, 82,58%;
  • Volovița, Soroca District- Ghenadie Nitrean, 79,36%;
  • Pârlița, Ungheni District- Stanislav Babuțac, 85,61%.

Source: CEC/TV8

The mandates of these mayors cannot be more than one year, because in 2019 the mayoral elections will have to be held again at the same time with the local council elections.

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