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Igor Dodon: Moldova will take part in the CIS Parliamentary Assembly

During his visit in Moscow between March 16-18, the President of Moldova, Igor Dodon, met the Secretary Executive of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Sergey Lebedev.

The two officials discussed about giving (back) the CIS chairmanship to Moldova in the future. Dodon and Lebedev also talked on the recent statement of Parliament speaker Andrian Candu to possibly cancel the participation (as a protest against Russia) at the Parliamentary Assembly of CIS at Sankt-Petersburg during March 26-28.

In this context, President Dodon declared that the Moldovan MPs would participate at the Assembly, no matter what the Parliament and Government leadership says. Dodon was probably referring to his former fellows- Socialist MPs led by Zinaida Greceanîi, so much eager to promote their pro-Russian orientation.

Moldova refused to take over the CIS chairmanship in 2017, stating financial reasons.

The Republic of Moldova joined the CIS in 1991. The Commonwealth incorporates 11 ex-Soviet countries, out of which Ukraine and Turkmenistan are associate members. Georgia withdrew its membership in 2008, while Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania never signed the treaty. The Russian Federation is holding the presidency of the Commonwealth this year.

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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Moldova gets observer status at the Eurasian Economic Union

14 May 2018- The Supreme Economic Council of the Eurasian Economic Union approved the decision to offer Moldova the status of observer state within the Union, reports Ria referring to a Vladimir Putin’s statement.

According to Moldova President Igor Dodon, present at the session of the Council, the observer status decision was proposed by the Russian President:

“After the announcement of this decision, I held a speech at the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council and I thanked the heads of partner-states for confidence. At the same time, I underlined that the tighter cooperation of Moldova with the Eurasian Economic Union is the demand of the majority of our citizens and is a national objective”, declared Dodon on his Facebook page.

The Eurasian Economic Union is an international organization based on the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space functioning from 1 January 2015 in Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

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Reghina Apostolova eliminated from the Chișinău mayoral race due to suspected Russian funding

11 May 2018- Judges of the Chișinău Court canceled the registration of the candidate of Shor Party, Reghina Apostolova, in the elections for the seat of Chișinău mayor. Apostolova’s lawyers declared their intention to appeal the decision.

A day before, the Chișinău Electoral Commission decided that a court must decide upon the complaint of the National Unity Party (PUN) about the exclusion of Apostolova from the mayoral race. PUN previously presented documents that show the foreign origin of the funds coming to Apostolova’s campaign. Accordingly, the joint Moldo-Russian company Air Klassika Grup transferred 200 thousand lei (about 10 thousand euros) to the Moldova-based Air Klassika SRL, which subsequently transferred the money to the campaign account of Shor Party’s candidate.

Moldova’s electoral law prohibits the financing of political parties and electoral campaigns from funds with foreign origin.

The Chișinău mayoral elections will take place on 20 May 2018.

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Democrat VP Cristina Balan nominated as Moldova Ambassador to the US

8 May 2018- The leader of the Democratic Party of Moldova, Vlad Plahotniuc, announced during his weekly briefing about the nomination of Cristina Balan in the position of Moldovan Ambassador to the United States of America.

Balan’s nomination was consulted with the Parliament’s Committee for Foreign Affairs and European Integration on the same day. Now, Balan has to be confirmed by the Government and then entrusted by the President of Moldova.Cristina Balan, nominalizată pentru ocuparea funcÅ£iei de ambasador al Republicii Moldova în SUA. CV-ul Cristinei Balan

Cristina Balan is the Vice-President of the Democratic Party, being in charge of the party’s foreign affairs. Balan is also an active member of the Socialist International, being part of the Committee for Budget and Finances. In 2017, she received the prize of the “Women of the Year in Politics”. According to her CV, Balan has worked in private companies for more than 15 years. She is also the president of the Foundation for Modern Democracy.

Foreign policy expert and PAS Vice-President, Mihai Popșoi, has criticized the nomination of Balan, suggesting her Ambassadorship will serve the interests of her former boss, Vlad Plahotniuc:

“The mission of Mrs. Balan at Washington will rather one of coordinating the lobby efforts of her party leader because PDM’s PR budget in the US is way bigger than that the budget of the Embassy. The decision to nominate a person without the necessary training, though from the closest circle of the coordinator, denotes the lack of human resources within PD, but also the lack of trust towards our diplomatic corps”, posted Popșoi, mentioning that Balan participated the privatization of the Codru hotel.

Former Moldova Representative at the UN, Vlad Lupan, believes that the approval of Balan by President Dodon would confirm the division of powers between the Socialist and the Democrat parties:

“It would be interesting to learn what President Dodon got in exchange for the nomination of Mrs. Balan and Mr. Ciocoi in the control position of importance for Mr. Plahotniuc. This kind of “distribution” and the agreements with Dodon contradicts the narrative that PD is pro-Western”, says Lupan, mentioning the recent appointing of former Ambassador to US Aurel Ciocoi in the position of Dodon’s foreign policy adviser.

Not denying that Balan might have negotiation experience in the business sphere, former Ambassador to the UN suggests that the business skills and the diplomacy school skills do not always match.

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