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OSCE Observer from Moldova, Vitalie Zara, dies in a car accident in Kramatorsk, Eastern Ukraine

Source: Ministerul Apărării al Republicii Moldova

18 January 2018- A Moldovan citizen, Vitalie Zara, deceased as result of a car accident in Kramatorsk, Donetsk region of Ukraine. A former commander of “Fulger” Special Battalion of Moldova and participant in the 1992 war on Nistru, Zara was an observer with the OSCE Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

According to kramatorsk.info, the OSCE observer was a victim of the accident between the taxi he took and a truck.

Before the mission in Eastern Ukraine, reserve Colonel Zara had been an observer in Côte d’Ivoire.

Moldova’s Ministry of Defense expressed its condolences in regard to Colonel’s death. In a message, the Ministry underlined Zara’s participation in numerous national and international exercises, as well as his mission as a military observer in UN-mandated peacekeeping missions.

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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Important

2018 World Press Freedom Index: Moldova down to position 81

2 May 2018- Reporters without Borders (RSF) published their 2018 index of freedom of the press around the world.

The ranking of 2018 places Moldova on the 81st place, 1 position down compared to 2017 (80) with a score of 30,41 (-0,40).

RSF did not change its position on the media ownership and polarization in Moldova:

Moldova’s media are diversified but extremely polarized, like the country itself, which is characterized by chronic instability and the excessive influence of its oligarchs. The editorial line of the leading media outlets correlates closely with the political and business interests of their owners. Journalistic independence and media ownership transparency are major challenges. As media outlets battle with each other in a climate exacerbated by the Ukrainian crisis, the broadcasting regulatory authority’s lack of independence and excesses in the “fight against propaganda” continue to be a source of concern.

Romania was ranked 44th with 23,65 points, Ukraine 101st with 31,16 points, while Russia 148th with 49,96 points.

According to RSF, the freest media can be found in Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Finland. The countries with the worst media freedom ranking are Eritrea, North Korea, and Turkmenistan.

The RSF underlines in its 2018 World Press Freedom Index that the global situation of the press is worsening, especially in Europe:

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Society

4 years after visa liberalization: 1,46 million Moldovans traveled without a visa to EU

Source: IPN, Elena Covalenco

28 April 2018- 4 years ago, the European Union introduced a visa-free regime for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova.

According to the Border Police of Moldova, 1 469 917 Moldovan citizens used the visa-free facility. Out of these, 1 168 000 citizens came back to Moldova (the other 300 thousand could be still traveling (23 April- reporting date), residing based on a permit or having entered EU with an EU passport).

Most of the Moldovans crossed the border at Leușeni-Albița checkpoint (562 076 persons), followed by the Chișinău International Airport (273 300), Cahul-Oancea (256 307) and Sculeni-Sculeni (217 896). The Chișinău International Airport registers more crossings than ever: 1 535 937 people traveled to EU with their biometric passport. Men cross (2,4 million) the border to EU more often than women (1,8 million), while people aged between 26 and 35 are the most active at EU traveling across the age groups.

IPN quotes the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders that since the visa regime with the EU was liberalized on April 28, 2014, until December 31, 2017, slightly over 14,000 Moldovans were refused entry to the EU because they didn’t meet the entrance conditions, had insufficient financial resources or stayed longer than allowed in the Member States.

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Justice

Justice Minister: Moldova has an inter-state conflict with Russia on the control of Transnistria

12 April 2018- The Justice Minister of Moldova, Victoria Iftodi, has participated at the Ministerial Conference in Denmark where more than 20 Justice Ministers adopted the Copenhagen Declaration. The latter voices the concerns of the overload of cases over at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and proposes recommendations.

Iftodi reportedly motivated that the overload of the ECtHR shows the necessity to reform the national system of justice and its performance in the remedy of human rights violations. The Justice Minister emphasized the need to ensure the universality of the human rights to an equal extent in the inter-state areas:

“The Republic of Moldova is confronted with a situation of inter-state conflict with the Russian Federation. As the European Court of Human Rights repeatedly stated, the Republic of Moldova does not exercise an effective control in the occupied territories. Appealing to the ECtHR remains to be the sole efficient method of remedy of the violations of fundamental rights of residents of those territories”, declared Iftodi.

The European Convention for Human Rights entered into force on 12 September 1997 in Moldova.

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