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Democratic Party of Moldova to pay $600K to Podesta Group for lobby services

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The Democratic Party of Moldova contracted with the American company Podesta Group for lobbying services, reports newsmaker.md.

According to the US Department of Justice, Podesta Group will represent the interests of the Moldovan Democrats in the US Congress and in the relations with other decision-making players. Podesta would have to improve the Moldo-American relations and would organize meetings with American officials. In other words, “Support Democratic Party policies”.

The 600,000 US dollars contract was signed on June 22nd 2016 and will last until June 21 2017.

One of the founders of Podesta Group, John Podesta, is now the leader of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, while the other founding brother Tony Podesta is known for being in close ties to Barack Obama.

Podesta Group previously offered lobbying services for Wal-Mart, BP, Sberbank, an NGO close to former Ukraine President Yanukovich and the Azerbaijani government.

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Parliament asks prosecutors to indict Moldova’s ex-PM, central bank governor, and 2 ex-ministers for negligence over 2014 frauds

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The Parliamentary committee on the investigation of the circumstances around the devaluation of the baking system requested the Moldovan prosecutors to initiate penal cases against the former PM Iurie Leancă, central bank ex-governor Dorin Drăguțanu, former Parliament speaker and economy minister Andrian Candu, as well as the ex-minister of finances, Anatol Arapu.

The committee found that the above-mentioned officials can be charged with negligence at work (329th article of the Penal Code).

Acording to committee head Alexandru Slusari, the three banks involved in the 2014 frauds did not have any special state management and siffoned millions out of Moldova’s banking system, even after the Government covered the 9,5 billion lei of emergency loans given by the National Bank to these banks.

“Thus, the leadership of the Government and the National Bank acted during that period with negligence, to say the least, without imposing state control over BEM, Unibank and Banca Sociala immediately after the issuance of the state warranties. We would like to remind that the warranties were eventually transformed into state debt with a 5% interest rate on the shoulder of citizens”, Slusari declared.

Concidence or not, former PM Iurie Leancă was stopped on 1 August by the border police from crossing Moldova’s borders after attempting to physically transfer 50 thousand euros to Romania. Leancă claims that the money is mentioned in his property declaration.

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Maia Sandu urges Tiraspol to lift the travel ban for officials of the Republic of Moldova

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Prime Minister Maia Sandu had a meeting with representatives of the mediators and observers in the “3+2” negotiation format. The discussions focused on the evaluation of the current stage of the Transnistrian settlement process.

Maia Sandu requested assistance from the “3+2” representatives in determining the Transnistrian party to eliminate in the near future the ban on traveling to the left bank for all citizens of the Republic of Moldova.

According to a government communiqué, the prime minister stressed that the “5+2” negotiation format for the Transnistrian settlement should become a platform to help fight corruption and smuggling.

“We have also discussed this in Kiev and I am glad that we have the same position in relation to this issue. The fight against corruption and smuggling in the Transnistrian region must be a priority. We will ensure that both state institutions and government officials will no longer be involved in corruption and smuggling schemes with Tiraspol, as it had happened in the past. As long as the Transnistrian region will be a major source of illegal enrichment for some people, there will be no real progress in identifying a political solution.”

In this context, Maia Sandu mentioned the need to prolong the EU Border Assistance Mission to Moldova and Ukraine (EUBAM).

The head of the OSCE Mission to Moldova, Claus Neukirch, reiterated that securing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, with a special status for the Transnistrian region, is the key factor in the mission’s work, but also the main goal of the “5+2” format.

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Financial support provided by USAID will be increased by $29 Million

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Yesterday, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, and the Deputy of the USAID for Europe and Eurasia Bureau, Brock Bierman, signed two letters confirming the intention to increase the contribution to the development assistance agreement with the value of 29 million US dollars.

According to Maia Sandu, the money offered by the American people will be used for good governance, tourism, information technology, and media projects.

“Support from the US over the years has been important for strengthening democratic institutions and processes in Moldova. US support has been and is important for building the rule of law for reforming justice, building a state to represent and defend Moldovan citizens. This financial support will be used as efficiently, transparently and correctly as possible, especially in the interests of all citizens,” said Maia Sandu.

The expected funding for democratic governance will facilitate the creation of functional institutions and involve citizens in decision-making, promote the efficiency and transparency of local governments, improve access to municipal services, and promote decentralization and judicial reforms. Other key areas are creating favorable conditions for civil society organizations and the media.

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