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Moldova could receive two new instalments of the EU macro-financial assistance by the end of 2019

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By the end of this year, Moldova could receive two tranches of the macro-financial assistance provided by the European Union. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Federica Mogherini discussed this during the fifth meeting of the Moldova-EU Association Council in Brussels, on September 30th.

“Today, we have agreed to update the Association Agenda and set new priorities of the Association Agreement and the Free Trade Agreement in the coming years. As it happened before, our support will continue to be conditioned on the concrete progress of the reforms. At the same time, we will support you and stand by you with advice, perhaps even more than in the past […] The European Union is ready to increase financial support and consultancy support to endorse the Government’s ambitious reform agenda,” stated Federica Mogherini in the press conference organised after the meeting with Maia Sandu.

The EU official mentioned that in June, European leaders assigned the Commission the task to focus on a set of measures to support Moldova based on the sustained implementation of the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). “We resumed disbursements for budget support assistance in June this year. I also signed the financing agreement with the Government to carry out programs on sustainable development and the rule of law,” noted Federica Mogherini. Also, the Vice-President of the European Commission expressed her hope that the first instalment of macro-financial assistance for the Republic of Moldova will be disbursed soon.

“All this is a clear signal of the EU’s appreciation of the reforms already implemented by the Chișinău authorities, as well as of the expectations regarding the next steps.”

Among the topics addressed by the parties were the Transnistrian regulation, the energy security of the Republic of Moldova, but also the effects of the implementation of the DCFTA in Moldova.

“The long and friendly meeting offered me the opportunity to confirm to the Prime Minister and the Moldovan delegation that the EU continues to support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova, with a special status for Transnistria, within Moldova’s internationally recognised borders. Negotiations in the 5 + 2 format have made some progress, which must continue, especially during the next round in Slovakia next week,” declared Federica Mogherini.

European officials appreciated the justice and electoral reforms and said that the local election held on October 20th will be an “important test”, which will prove the way the international provisions are respected in the Republic of Moldova. Mogherini noted that the reforms of the judicial system and of the Prosecutor General’s Office were vital issues, which would allow creating a stronger business environment and will stimulate investments, according to the Government of the Republic of Moldova’s official webpage.

Source: gov.md

At the same press conference, Prime Minister Maia Sandu mentioned the discussion of the Government’s accomplishments in its first one hundred days.

“We have made a commitment here on behalf of all Government institutions and the institutions in charge of the implementation of the Association Agreement to carry out these actions.”

Maia Sandu highlighted the fact that Moldova needs financial assistance from the EU. “It is encouraging to reconfirm the news that we can get the two instalments of macro-financial assistance by the end of this year. Obviously, that is if we succeed in meeting all the conditions, which we intend to do,” specified Maia Sandu.

Prime minister took the responsibility of supervising the implementation of reforms and fulfilling all the commitments. Maia Sandu thanked the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini for the support given by the EU to the current government from the first days of office and expressed her wish to bring the cooperation between the EU and Moldova to a new level, both in the political field, as well as in the field of security and economic development.

The political analyst Dionis Cenușă assessed the meeting between Federica Mogherini and Maia Sandu as a good sign, which should be treated with reasonable vigilance.  “In general, Moldova is moving in the right direction, but the EU should not lose vigilance. Any optimism is beneficial, if it has a reasonable understanding of the local realities,” mentioned Cenușă in a Facebook post.

Over the next few days, Federica Mogherini and Maia Sandu will meet again in Chișinău.

Photo: gov.md

Politics

The effect of Russia’s constitutional changes on the Transnistrian region

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A nationwide referendum is held in the Russian Federation between June 25 and July 1 in order to amend the constitution of the country.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the opportunity to vote during several days was provided. The voting process is held outside and, in addition, contactless voting at home, electronic voting and voting using the Mobile Voter mechanism are available.

In the Transnistrian region, voting was allowed for three days, from June 28-30, the whole process being organised under similar conditions as in Russia, the Tass News Agency announced.

According to a survey conducted at 800 Russian polling stations from June 25 to June 28, the majority of voters opted for the amendments, 23.6% opposed them and 0.4% invalidated the ballot paper,

Beside the amendment offering the possibility of prolonging the presidential term of Vladimir Putin (until 2036 instead of 2024), there are a a few controversial amendments to the Russian fundamental law.

Source: Facebook| The Center for the Study of the Transnistrian Conflict Consequences

Russian federal territories

One of the most important articles of the Constitution of the Russian Federation that could be amended is article no. 67,  which provides for creation of federal territories in Russia and introduction of the expression “subjects of the Russian Federation”.

“By making this change, Putin wants to make sure that certain federal subjects do not leave the Russian Federation, such as Chechnya, Tatarstan or Crimea, the latter being illegally occupied by the Russian Federation. The territory of the Republic of Moldova doesn’t belong to  the Russian Federation. However, taking into consideration the priorities that President Dodon and socialist have, one could draw a parallel.

During the propagandist Moscow parade, Putin mentioned in his speech that all neighbours ‘are part of the Russian world’. Moldova, according to Vladimir Putin, is part of his strategic interest. The fact that 11% of the Moldova’s territory is hosting occupation troops proves it one more time,” said security policy expert Rosian Vasiloi.

Previously, President Igor Dodon claimed that federalisation is the only solution to solving conflicts in the Republic of Moldova, including the Transnistrian one.

Source: Facebook| The Center for the Study of the Transnistrian Conflict Consequences

Russia as the legal successor to the Soviet Union

In the same article, a paragraph was introduced, saying that the Russian Federation is the legal successor of the Soviet Union. Another amending paragraph states that the Russian Federation honours the memory of the “Fatherland’s defenders” and ensures the protection of historical truth. “The diminution of the importance of the act of heroism in the defence of the Fatherland is not allowed.”

Historian Andrei Cusco mentioned that the victory in World War II is a myth that represented the main pillar of the regime’s ideology after Putin came to power in 2000. “Russia has taken certain moments from the Soviet communist narrative and reinterpreted them to serve the interests and visions of the current regime,” Cusco said.

The Criminal Code of the Russian Federation prohibits the dissemination of information that expresses a clear disrespect regarding the days of military glory and memorable dates in Russia related to the defence of the Fatherland, as Meduza informed.

A good example is the reaction of the Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Moldova to the TVR Moldova declaration that June 22, 1941 was the day when Romania entered the World War II to liberate the Russian-occupied lands in the summer of 1940. “For Romanians, this date went down in history as the day of starting the fight for the reunification of the nation. The President of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon, is not of the same opinion, as he stated that today is the day when the occupation of Bessarabia began,” it is said in the article.

The Embassy of the Russian Federation qualified the material as “uncivilised and extremely dangerous, because it justifies the war criminals.”

“Such tricks offend most Russian citizens who remember the common heroism of the Red Army that saved Europe from the Nazi plague.”

The perfect Russian child

One more completion to the constitution refers to children education, namely patriotism, citizenship and respect for the elderly.

The same approach existed during the USSR, when the principles of a very cultured man were considered love for the socialist homeland, friendship, companionship, humanity, honour, love for socialist work, etc.

 Marriage of a man and a woman

Another newly introduced amendment provides for the protection of the family, maternity, paternity and childhood, defending the institution of marriage as a union of a man and a woman, creating the conditions for a decent upbringing of children in a family, as well as for the fulfilment of the obligation to take care of parents.

Yet, another video promoting the amendment of the constitution promotes homophobia as well.

Crime against Russians

The Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner believes that the way of voting the amendments is not democratic. “There are many proposed amendments. Among them, there are those that I would be willing to support, but there are those that I am against of. Unfortunately, everything is organized in such a way, that either you order the entire dinner or none of the dishes,” he said.

Liubov Sobol, a Russian politician and lawyer at the Anticorruption Foundation, claimed that resetting Putin’s mandates to zero is a crime against Russians. “20 years were enough to implement all the reforms needed for our country. We saw that Putin failed. Corruption is flourishing in the country, we have a low level of education. There must be a change of power, and all eligible candidates must be allowed to run for president. People have to make a choice.”

This text is a translation. The original article here.

Photo: Facebook| The Center for the Study of the Transnistrian Conflict Consequences

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75 Moldovan soldiers will participate in Moscow’s parade. The WHO warned about the taken risks

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75 soldiers from the Honour Guard Company of the Moldovan National Army were sent to Moscow on June 14 in order to participate to the military parade that will take place on the Red Square. The parade is scheduled for June 24, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of the World War II. The announcement was made by President Igor Dodon on the social media.

In his message, Dodon justified the participation of the Moldovan soldiers to the parade as following: “It is worth mentioning that the grandparents of 23 out of 75 soldiers participated in the WWII, so Moldova’s participation means not only a manifestation of solidarity with the countries with which we share a common history. but also a direct connection between generations, preserving the memory of the heroism of our ancestors,” said the president.

Source: Facebook| Igor Dodon

However, beside the romanticism in the president’s message, there should be also pragmatism to the current situation, which Moldovan officials have forgotten about: Russia recorded a total of 569 063 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 7 841 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. According to the WHO data, there were reported 7 972 newly confirmed cases and 181 deaths on Jun 18 only.

Source: WHO

Under these conditions, such a mass event risks to become a cause of a new COVID-19 “exacerbated spread”, said the WHO representative, Catherine Smallwood, during a press conference on the current pandemic situation in Russia.

The Minister of Defence, Alexandru Pinzari, was supposed to offer explanations to the Parliament regarding the fact of sending 75 soldiers to Moscow during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pinzari didn’t show up to the meeting, stating that he was on his way to an outbreak area of the COVID-19 infection. “They are in strict quarantine conditions. I am confident that they will return healthy,” the minister declared, referring to the 75 Moldovan soldiers.

The parade to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II has been rescheduled for June 24 after a postponement caused by the pandemic. Usually, the parade is organised on May 9.

Photo: Facebook| Igor Dodon

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Important

Global Peace Index 2020: Is Moldova a peaceful and secure country?

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This year, the 14th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI) Report was published. The index is world’s leading measure of global peacefulness, being produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). Each year, it ranks 163 independent states and territories, including Moldova that, in 2020, was listed on the 71st position (score 1.95).

The 2020 GPI report showed that the world became less peaceful for the ninth time in the last 12 years. The overall scores describe a worsening situation regarding safety and security, as well as regarding ongoing conflicts, whereas an improved situation regarding militarisation. Such aspects as free flow of information, strength of economic conditions or equitable distribution of resources recorded a progress, while the global level of corruption deteriorated.

Iceland remained the most peaceful country in the world, as it has been since 2008, being followed by New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark. On the other hand, Afghanistan ranked as the least peaceful country in the world for the second year in a row, next to Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen.

Moldova is among the top 5 countries in the world, when it comes to the militarisation domain, while being positioned in the middle of the list for societal safety and security, as well as for ongoing domestic and international conflicts.

Source: GPI 2020 Report

Generally, the GPI Report shows that the largest improvements have occurred in the militarisation domain – 113 countries reduced their armed forces rate, 100 reduced military expenditure as a percentage of GDP, and 67 lowered their levels of nuclear and heavy weapons.

The Republic of Moldova also has a leading position at the regional level (Russia and Eurasia) – being ranked the 2nd position after Kazakhstan. Generally, the Eurasia region recorded under 300 events from 2011 to 2018. A third of them (93 demonstrations and one strike) took place in Russia. The following 25% were in Ukraine (74 events occurring in 2014). Next, Moldova had 29 such events, all of them occurring since 2015. “Roughly 10 000 demonstrators in May of that year called on the government to advance reforms that would bring the country closer to the EU, including investigating $1 billion in missing funds,” is mentioned in the report.

Source: GPI 2020 Report

Europe had the largest number of protests, riots and strikes over the period with a total of 1600 events from 2011 to 2018. According to the GPI report, 65% of the civil unrest events in Europe were nonviolent.

At the same time, the economic cost of violence represents 5% of the total GDP in Moldova, with an absolute value of $1967 per capita.

In addition, this year’s report includes an analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on positive peace (the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies), while examining its economic consequences and which countries are best placed to recover from the shock.

“The 2020 GPI reveals a world in which the conflicts and crises that emerged in the past decade have begun to abate, only to be replaced with a new wave of tension and uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The GPI report for 2020 stated that such epidemics and pandemics “tend to more heavily affect countries with low to medium socio-economic development.” Such factors as well-functioning Government (quickly enforcing border lock-downs, quarantine regimes,
isolation schemes, banning certain gatherings, etc.), a robust health system, high levels of human capital (good testing and treatment capacity), equitable distribution of resources, acceptance of the rights of others, sound business environment and low levels of corruption could be decisive when fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic and trying to diminish its severe economic impact.

For example, OCED countries with better functioning Governments and higher levels of human capital have been able to test a higher proportion of their population for the COVID-19 virus and to provide a better response, is also mentioned in the report.

Photo: reliefweb.int

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