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Igor Dodon had a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi

President Igor Dodon had a meeting with the leader of the Kremlin today, where he asked for his support on the request for obtaining an observer status within the Eurasian Economic Union, as well as for other unsolved political and social issues.

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Another thing Dodon put forward for discussion was the extension of the list of Moldovan enterprises that will have access to the Russian market, as well as the amnesty of Moldovan citizens with certain migration violations in Russia.

“We expressed our sincere interest in developing cooperation with the Russian Federation within the CIS and other international bodies,” wrote Dodon on his Facebook page.

Moldova’s position on the Transnistrian problem was explained again by Dodon: it supports the political settlement of the Transnistrian conflict within the “5 + 2” negotiation format in compliance with the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova, with the granting of a special status to the Transnistrian region.

“We still count on Russia’s support in the process of regulating the Transnistrian conflict and we are interested in real progress in this field during the current year,” Dodon said.

At the same time, he mentioned “the positive role played by the current peacekeeping mission on the Nistru with the participation of the Russian peacekeepers”.

In his turn, Putin showed support for improving the bilateral relations, but also for the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict:

“We want to support your sincere intentions to rebuild and to develop Russian-Moldovan relations. From our behalf, we will do everything needed for the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. (…) We will act as warrants for the previous agreements and the agreements that need to take place so that the problem is solved once and forever, in the interest of all people living in this territory”, said Putin, but did not specify which territory.

At the meeting, Igor Dodon complained that the Government and the parliamentary majority in Chisinau are “controlled by the Western countries and make every effort to undermine bilateral relations.” In this context, he declared his disapproval of any anti-Russian moves of the Moldovan authorities, such as the deportations of Russian public servants and journalist from Moldova, and anti-Russian propaganda in the media.

Besides meeting other CIS leaders, Dodon planned a visit to Sochi State University and its students, as well as meeting with representatives of the Moldovan diaspora in the city of Sochi and the region of Krasnodar.

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An outline of the ‘Open Dialog’ scandal. PAS and DTPP in the gunsight of the Moldovan Parliament

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Yesterday, November 12th the second meeting of the parliamentary commission on the investigation concerning the Open Dialog Foundation took place. Initially, the representative of PAS (Party of Action and Solidarity) declared in a press release that Maia Sandu will go in the Parliament hearing in order to “make things clear and to end the lies spread in the so-called enquiry regarding the PAS funding sources.”

Maia Sandu and Andrei Nastase, the leaders of the electoral bloc “ACUM”, were waiting at the parliament entrance ready to enter along with the journalists, when they were announced that the commission would meet in a closed session and they are invited to the hearing one by one. Sandu and Nastase refused to participate, declaring it a farce. “There are no reasons for having the meeting in a closed session. We are not government workers. We don’t have any obligations to keep state secrets and they can’t discuss them with us”, mentioned Sandu. They organised a press conference right at the entrance of the Parliament. “There are two main goals of these closed meetings: first, discrediting PAS and DTPP (Dignity and Truth Platform Party), and the second, trying to remove our parties from the electoral campaign”, mentions Sandu during the press conference.

As official sources state, the main objective of the enquiry commission was to collect and analyse information, as well as to formulate recommendations, without any legal competences. Still, the president of the parliamentary commission – Igor Vremea, declared after the second hearing, that the leaders of PAS and DTPP were “obliged” by law to come at the second session, as the main scope was to hear their opinion on the information provided for the commission.

Background information

On October 4th, the Moldovan Parliament formed, at the initiative of DPM, an enquiry commission for elucidating the allegations of the Open Dialog Foundation and its founder’s – Ludmila Kozlowska, interference in the domestic affairs of the Republic of Moldova, as well as funding PAS and DTPP political parties.

The first official hearing was organised on November 2nd. It also was a meeting in closed session. From the very beginning, Maia Sandu asked to be summoned to a public hearing and refused to make statements to the committee in a closed session. According to the PAS leader, the closed sessions are “neither for revealing the truth by the Parliament, nor to inform people about what happened”. In response to that, Andrian Candu, the speaker of the Moldovan Parliament, declared that the Sandu’s request is an attempt to block the hearings, as she is aware that the analysed information is confidential.

Regarding the allegations that were made, Maia Sandu claimed that the only thing that was funded by the Open Dialog Foundation was a visit for an event in Brussels, having the European Parliament and the Open Dialog Foundation as the event’s organizers. Other than that, PAS never received any financial support from the Open Dialog Foundation.

Moreover, Ludmila Kozlovska denied in an interview for Jurnal TV that the Open Dialog Foundation has ever financed the opposition parties of Republic of Moldova. “It is a complete fabrication” she declared, “and it’s absurd that they consider me and my organisation a threat for Republic of Moldova”. She sees the act of organising a parliamentary commission as a desperate measure taken by DPM (Democratic Party of Moldova).

Open Dialog Foundation

The Open Dialog Foundation is involved at the moment in dealing with several cases of political prisoners from Russia, Republic of Moldova and Kazakhstan. After an analysis of the situation in Republic of Moldova, reports were sent to European Union institutions, and efforts were made on behalf of this institution for freezing the financial support from EU to Moldova. “In turn, Vladimir Plahotniuc started to denigrate the Open Dialog Foundation, this is how people had the opportunity to hear more often about it”, states Kozlovska.

What’s also important to be mentioned is that, according to the Newsmaker fact-check, the press release of the Parliament of Republic of Moldova contains several fake or misinterpreted information about Ludmila Kozlovska. For example, the press release text states that she was expatriated from Poland for being suspected of cooperation with Russian special forces. In reality, her entering in Belgium was banned on August 13, 2018 because Poland included her in the SIS (Schengen Information System) blacklist without stating any reason for that. About the so-called cooperation with the Russian special forces, wrote Marcin Rey, a polish blogger, and his article was mentioned as an “expert” source in the Moldovan Parliament press release.  Another fake information that was included in the press release and in the media, is that the Ukrainian Security Service blamed Ludmila Kozlovska in “betrayal of her homeland”, while she only appears as a witness in a court case.

Featured image source: zdg.md

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Moldova’s mass migration – the main trigger for the economic and demographic decline

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People leave Moldova every day. Nowadays, not only young people leave the country, but elder ones do it as well. It is also the case for Serafima Gherman – a former biology and chemistry teacher, who decided to leave her home country and to head for Milano, Italy.

Our colleagues from Moldova.org spent the day before she left at her place while she was preparing her luggage for leaving. She seems to be down in the mouth. So many years spent in this house…

When Serafima was young she dreamed to become an artist. She secretly applied at the musical college. Her voice was wonderful. When her father, who was a doctor, got to know, he gave her a good beating and told her that the big stages would handle it somehow without her. So, she studied at a technical college and graduated the Pedagogical University from Tiraspol being married with 2 children.  Together with her husband, she built a big house and raised the children. A few years ago her husband passed away. It seems like it was only yesterday.

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Serafima Gherman in her house

Sitting on the floor, she tried to put her thoughts in order and to arrange her belongings in the luggage. First, she was wondering if the pieces of frozen meat, packages of parsley, lovage and traditional cheese made from sheep milk will fit into the blue valise next to her. She was aware that the place she goes to is full of cheese and meat of any kind, but she also knew that the home-made food can’t be compared to anything. And then, she didn’t know how much time it will take until returning home. What if the meat rots?

The next thing Serafima took care for were her clothes, carefully arranged in a plastic bag, as well as her medicines. Still, it was too much stuff. Her grandson assured her that all the things that don’t fit in the valise will be brought by his mom, Serafima’s daughter, next time when she comes to Moldova. She also lives and works in Italy.

Serafima looked around one more time. She checked the papers and the medicines to not forget anything, and started to slowly move to the kitchen. She was crying. “It is very hard, living my entire life in one place and taking to the road now, when I am old. Who will take care of my house while I am gone?” she asked herself. Everything is left behind: a small house with a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom and the most important, a sparkly clean living room called in Romanian “casa mare”. Nobody lives in there. It’s for guests.

She sadly inspected the yard that has the softest and the greenest grass ever. Once it was full of hungry poultry: geese, ducks, chickens. Now it is so silent. All of them were slaughtered one after another as there was nobody who could take care of them while she was visiting her daughter in Italy.

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Serafima with her daughter, Angela

She never thought of being always on the road. Her heart was always weak and then the problems with blood pressure appeared. So, she had to travel a lot: from the local hospital in Brânzenii Vechi to the district hospital in Telenești, and then to Chișinău. Nobody knew what the health issue was. Only when her daughter Angela bought her a ticket to Italy, the physicians discovered the small intestine cancer. After long beggings from her daughter, Serafima accepted to be operated. In Italy, she got her residence permit and the papers for obtaining the 100% degree of disability, as she was hardly able to move and was in poor health. Now she must go to the doctor regularly. “I have to leave for a new consult. It happens every couple of months. I can’t be taken care of in my own country.”

It has been going on for several years now. And she cries every time. Her house fell into disrepair while it is so comfortable and nice in Italy, but so foreign. It’s like there is no life for her in that world.

She was wearing her favourite floral pink dress and a wool cardigan, as it was already quite cold. Leaning on her walking stick, Serafima slowly walked to the gateway, where a car was already waiting for her to take her to the airport in Chișinău. All she could do more was to ask her neighbour to come and check the house from time to time. Nobody knew when she would return, maybe after a couple of months, maybe in summer. Her grandson Liviu helped her with the luggage and nodded affirmatively while receiving indications from his grandma: “Buy some poison against mice and spread it in the corners and under the bed. Move that gas tank in the garage. I don’t want it to be stolen!”

They arrived at the airport and headed directly to the check-in desk. The luggage was already given, the check-in done, and a wheel chair was waiting for Serafima. Tears filled her eyes again. She hugged her beloved grandson and let herself to be guided to the departure gate. There were some other old people that were waiting to be boarded. Most probably they also flown to visit their children.

Republic of Moldova loses her citizens in a matter of hours. Namely, every hour four people leave the country seeking for a better life, according to BBC. In 2017 only, the number of persons over 15 years old that were established abroad for work purposes reached 318.4 thousand, out of which 20.2 thousand are persons aged over 55, as the official data by the National Statistical Office of Moldova states. In case the trend continues, it could lead to a demographic and economic collapse.

Featured image source: lufthansa.com
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President Igor Dodon: Russian troops have to leave Transnistria, but not now

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President Igor Dodon refuses to say directly that Russian troops within the GOTR are illegally present on the territory of Moldova amid the fact that they must leave our country, once this is stipulated in Moldova’s status of neutrality.

When asked for an opinion on the presence of Russian troops from GOTR on the territory of Moldova, this is Igor Dodon’s answer:

“In Moldova there are peacekeepers and, the Operational Group of the Russian Troops is a limited group of soldiers. It is not a military base, but soldiers who keep the 14th Army munitions,” declared Dodon at a press conference in which he spoke about the results of his visit to Moscow

He furthermore made it clear that Russian soldiers are illegally on the territory of Moldova, though not having stated it clearly and directly.

“We will sit down, discuss, and find a solution. It’s not just once that we’ve discussed about this with Vladimir Vladimirovich (former President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin) about this.”

While President Dodon says that Russian GOTR soldiers are “a limited group of soldiers,” they often participate in various military applications on the left bank of the Dniester River. Three months ago, the Russian soldiers prepared for the fourth consecutive year to “force” the Nistru River. The Russian officials then said that the exercises aimed at so-called “overcoming obstacles on the Dniester River”.

The Chisinau Defense Ministry has always called on GOTR troops to refrain from such provocative maneuvers but was ignored.

Reminder: The ex-Defense Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Anatol Salaru, and his Ukrainian counterpart, Stepan Poltorak, have come to an understanding, namely that Ukraine is ready to prepare a “green corridor” for the evacuation of the Russian troops and weapons in Colbasna.

But how does Dodon see the reunification of Moldova with Transnistria? One border, the rest remains as it is

President Igor Dodon considers that the Transnistrian conflict can be solved only if the Moldovan plan is accepted and if there is a consensus between the three institutional powers in Chisinau – Executive, Legislative and Presidency – on the given subject.

On the other hand, in an interview with TASS, Dodon assumes that there is nothing to change – outside the common border of Moldova – Transnistria: the flags, the parliament, the president.

“We’re in the same boat here. Many times, have I said that the left side can’t go in one direction and the right side in the other. […] There oughtn’t be the Russian plan, because the West won’t receive it. It oughtn’t be the Western plan, because Russia won’t accept it. Only the plan of the Republic of Moldova can be accepted at international level and this will be a success for all parties involved.”

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