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Moldova deploys 8th contingent KFOR-8 for peacekeeping mission in Kosovo

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On December 4th, the Defense Ministry of Moldova launched the deployment of the eighth contingent of the National Army in the peacekeeping mission KFOR in Kosovo. This mission, KFOR-8, is to replace the current one- KFOR-7.

The 8th contingent is formed out of 40 military soldiers: seven minesweepers and 33 soldiers that will execute missions of the security guard of the military units and missions of patrolling. The Moldovan soldiers will be part of the Multinational Battle Group-West and will be based at the Italian Camp Vilaggio in Pech, Kosovo.

The mission of KFOR-8 in Kosovo will last for 6 months.

The KFOR peacekeeping mission in Kosovo is the result of common efforts of the United Nations, the European Union, and NATO to maintain a peaceful environment in the region.

Correspondent reporter of Moldova.org Focus: Transnistrian conflict settlement, Eastern Partnership. Inquiries at [email protected]

Economy

Global Talent Competitiveness Index: Moldova when it comes to Artificial Intelligence

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The 7th edition of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) addressed the topic Global Talent in the Age of Artificial Intelligence. The index is used to rank 132 national economies, across all groups of income and levels of development, that representing 97% of the world’s GDP and 94% of its population. The report referred, first of all, to the level of innovation and technology development, exploring how the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not only changing the nature of work but also forcing a re-evaluation of workplace practices, corporate structures and innovation ecosystems.

This year, Moldova ranked 86th out of 132 analysed economies, being ranked behind the neighbouring countries such as Ukraine and Romania, which ranked 66th and 64th, respectively.

The countries that are best positioned to benefit from the AI revolution are also the most developed countries in the world, especially when it comes to the competitiveness and potential of attracting and training best professionals. Top ten countries in the ranking are Switzerland, the United States of America, Singapore, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway and Australia.

New York, London, Singapore, San Francisco, Boston, Hong Kong, Paris, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Munich are among the most developed cities in this regard.

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source: insead.edu

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source: insead.edu

GTCI highlights

One of the most important observations made in the GTCI report for 2020 is that the gap between talent champions (almost all of them high-income countries) and the rest of the world is widening. Still, AI may provide significant opportunities for emerging countries to leapfrog.

The top of the GTCI rankings is still dominated by Europe, including the Nordic countries – a significant number of small high-income economies, many of them being either landlocked, island or quasi-island economies, including Switzerland (1st), Singapore (3rd), Luxembourg (8th), Iceland (14th) or Austria (17th).

According to the report, the key factor is developing relatively open socio-economic policies in which talent growth and management are central priorities in the age of AI.

Moldova

Moldova managed to get a score of 36.64, being ranked 86th out of 132 countries. It was classified as lower-middle income country and ranked 7th out of 32 countries included in this category. The country’s talent competitiveness index weakened as compared to the period between 2015-2017, when it was listed around the 61st position.

Moldova was evaluated with the highest scores for such aspects as gender development gap, ease of doing business, number of female graduates, competition intensity and political stability, while the lowest scores were given for its share of R&D expenditure, robot density, university ranking, number of registered researchers, scientific journal articles, labour productivity per employee, new business density and collaboration across organisations.

This year’s model of the GTCI index includes a total of 70 variables, up from 68 indicators used in the GTCI 2019.

source: insead.edu

Photo: cambridgealert.com

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Economy

The Republic of Moldova will continue to be supplied with natural gas through Ukraine

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Moldova will continue to receive natural gas through Ukraine, after the Ukraine and Russia have reached a consensus, signing a new transit agreement on December 19th. As a consequence, the natural gas will reach Moldova through the usual pipelines.

After long hours of negotiations between the Russian, Ukrainian sides and the European Commission, the new terms of the gas transit agreement starting from January 1st were established: Russia is expected to supply natural gas to Europe through Ukraine for a period of at least five years, while the Russian corporate group Gazprom will pay the Ukrainian company Naftogaz $2.9 billion to end legal disputes between the two countries, Reuters reported.

According to the new agreement, Gazprom, which supplies more than a third of Europe’s natural gas, will ensure the transit of 225 billion cubic meters of natural gas via Ukraine over a five-year period, out of which an amount of 65 billion cubic meters will be delivered in 2020 and 160 billion cubic meters between 2021 and 2024.

In response to the consent of Gazprom to pay Naftogaz after loosing the lawsuit brought to the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Ukraine will sign a legal agreement and waive all requests by December 29th, so that both parties can resolve all issues before the current agreement expires.

After the European Commission Vice-President, Maroš Šefčovič, Russian Energy Minister, Alexander Novak and Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection, Oleksiy Orzhel announced the reached agreement, Gazprom said that Moscow and Kiev would meet in Minsk to continue talks, according to Reuters.

Also last week, the new operator of the Ukrainian gas network – GTSO and the Romanian company Transgaz signed an agreement that will allow the supply of natural gas from Romania to Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova through the Isaccea-Orlovka interconnection point, starting from January 1st, 2020.

It is not though clear yet whether the prices for supplied natural gas will increase or not. While the Ukrainian Energy Minister declared that the tariff for Russian natural gas transportation via Ukraine will increase compared to the current contract, which will expire at the end of the month (but did not specify what the increase will be), the Moldovan president promised that the tariffs will be even lower.

“The gas will continue to flow through the pipelines of Ukraine. I remind you that starting from January 1st, the price will be lower, much lower compared to the price we paid during 2019,” said Igor Dodon, the country’s president, at a press conference today.

The current contract by which Russia supplies natural gas to Ukraine and other European countries, including the Republic of Moldova, expires at the end of this year.

Photo: Getty Images/ S. Gallup

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Politics

Maia Sandu, on an official visit in Bucharest: “We need Romania’s support very much”

Today, July 2, Prime Minister of Moldova Maia Sandu is on an official visit to Bucharest. This is Sandu’s first external visit after the busy weeks of taking office. President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, says it is very important and symbolic that the first visit of Prime Minister Maia Sandu and the Government of Chisinau takes place in Bucharest.

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During the meeting, Klaus Iohannis said that Chisinau officials will have all his support, as well as Romania, in the commitment of the new coalition on the European path.

“I would like to, once more, thank the Romanian authorities and the Romanian citizens for their disinterested support. I am sure that the new milestones fixed today will further contribute to our collaboration. It is the first official bilateral visit after taking office and convincingly reflects the importance and interest that the new government attaches to special and privileged relations with Romania in the strategic partnership for the European integration of the Republic of Moldova,” declared Maia Sandu.

The Chief Executive of Chisinau, who will be accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Năstase on the official visit to Bucharest, will also meet with representatives of Parliament.

Photo sources: stirileprotv.ro, gov.md

Photo sources: stirileprotv.ro, gov.md

Photo sources: stirileprotv.ro, gov.md

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Moreover, Prime Minister Maia Sandu had a meeting with Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă, where several topics were discussed, including the energy field, with an emphasis on finalizing the construction and putting into operation of the Iasi-Ungheni-Chisinau gas pipeline.

Photo source: Mediafax

Prime Minister Maia Sandu listed the projects he had been able to discuss with the Romanian Government: completion of the construction and putting into full operation of the Iasi-Chisinau gas pipeline, the importance of interconnections of high voltage power lines, and the construction of the Unirii motorway to Ungheni.

“I furthermore pointed out in the discussions with the Prime Minister and the major relevance granted by Romania to the settlement of the conflict in the Transnistrian region, respecting the territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova and not affecting its pro-European vector,” Dăncilă declared.

Reminder: The Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova, Nicu Popescu, had a meeting with his counterpart (Teodor Meleșcanu) in Bucharest yesterday.

Minister Popescu stressed that the relationship between the Republic of Moldova and Romania is a special one, including the position of Bucharest on the events in Chisinau in the recent situation of the duality of power.

“We appreciate that Romania was the first state to summon the political forces from Chisinau towards a peaceful transition of power, so Romania has played an important role in bringing the situation to the brink of normality.”

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