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Moldova holds no longer a leading position in the Eastern Partnership

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The Republic of Moldova is no longer a leader among the member states of the Eastern Partnership. A group of experts from Chișinău analyzed the situation in Moldova, by comparing it with previous years and with other countries included in the Eastern Partnership – Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Belarus, as IPN reports.

According to the experts, the biggest issues are related to the independence of judiciary system, independence of media and human rights.

The coordinator of the team of experts Elena Prohnitski, the member of the Association for Participatory Democracy ADEPT, declared that this year Moldova leads in none of the areas.

“Why is the difference so big compared with the previous year? Two explanations can be provided. The first explanation is that the situation in the Republic of Moldova worsened in such areas as the freedom of the media, independence of the judiciary, etc. Another explanation is that the situation in other countries developed faster than in our country.” Elena Prohnitski stated.

However, Moldova is not far from other countries that are part of the Eastern Partnership and the discrepancy is mainly due to the adoption of particular laws. The biggest discrepancy is in the business sector. A better situation is registered in Georgia, that became a leader, while Ukraine and Moldova, which both signed Association Agreements and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements, rank fourth and fifth. Even if Moldova benefits from a Free Trade Agreement, the situation here is worse than in Azerbaijan and Armenia, according to IPN.

The report is based on a questionnaire that is filled out by national experts. An analysis of the situation in the country is provided additionally as an investigation of the developments in the political, social and economic spheres during the assessed year.

The Eastern Partnership is a joint policy initiative which aims to deepen and strengthen relations between the European Union, its Member States and its six Eastern neighbours: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova  and Ukraine.

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The Russian delegation was readmitted to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

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The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) voted in favor of Russia’s return to this court. The decision was taken five years after the Russian delegation was revoked from the composition of the Parliamentary Assembly because of the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

Andrei Nastase, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Internal Affairs, voted for the readmission of the Russian Federation delegation to PACE. Nastase declared that “it was not an easy decision,” but he voted for Russia’s return to PACE in order for this institution to have a positive influence on Russia in human rights and rule of law issues.

Russia has voted 118 votes in favor of Russia’s vote in the Parliamentary Assembly, 62 voted against, and 10 abstained. From the delegation of the Moldovan Parliament to PACE, MPs Andrei Nastase (Dignity and Truth Platform, ‘ACUM’ bloc leader) and Vlad Batrincea (Socialist Party) voted for the return of Russia. However, MP Mihail Popsoi (Action and Solidarity Party) opposed this decision.

In 2014, Russia lost voting rights to PACE after taking over Crimea and supporting military separatists in eastern Ukraine. Russia responded in 2016 by boycotting the Assembly and refused in 2017 to pay its annual contribution of 33 million euros, about 7% of the Council’s budget.

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PM Maia Sandu: Duty-free gas stations, shops, bars and restaurants at the entrance of Moldova and Transnistria will be banned

Today, Prime Minister Maia Sandu announced that duty-free gas stations, duty-free shops, bars and restaurants at the entrance to the Republic of Moldova and the Transnistrian region will be banned.

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Maia Sandu mentioned that deputies ought to draft and register as a matter of urgency a bill to this effect. She explained that legal provisions such as those mentioned do not exist in any country in the world and that the national public budget suffers losses of hundreds of millions of lei as a result of the implementation of these laws.

“The duty-free shops beneficiary is a toxic person involved in a dubious business, including theft of the million dollar bill,” said Maia Sandu, making allusions to Ilan Shor.

“The current government not only will not tolerate such initiatives in the future, but also repeal all those adopted by the oligarchic regime that led the Republic of Moldova until June 8,” shows a message from Sandu on Facebook.

Mold-street.com wrote that after the 2019 elections in February 24, and especially after it became clear that the Democratic Party could not form a coalition to be governed, businessman Ilan Shor, leader of the party that bears his name and his family sold most of their businesses in Moldova.

Thus, Dufremol SRL, which until 2018 was the largest duty-free shop operator in Moldova (12 units), became the property and management of Bulgarian Todorov Marko Stefanov.

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Democrats leave government to the new coalition

The decision was taken after today’s National Political Council of the Plahotniuc’s party, announced Vladimir Cebortari, vice-president of the DPM.

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According to Cebotari, DPM’s decision is a clear signal that the Democratic Party no longer holds power in the country.

“However, our decision will not solve the constitutional blockade,” Cebotari said.

“Regardless of what solutions will be found, as long as we have the decisions of the CC in place, the Government that will be installed will operate illegally, and the officials of the institutions will not be legally able to execute the decisions of such a Government and will be in a situation of legal risk. That is why final elections will be reached, as it’s the only way to solve the crisis created by the binomial Socialist Party–’ACUM’ bloc legally and completely,” finalized the DPM vice-president.

Vladimir Cebotari said that the next move on behalf of the DPM should be expected. However, it might be way too early to call it good news just yet.

Two days ago, the leaders of the bloc ‘ACUM’ Maia Sandu and Andrei Nastase asked the Moldovan citizens to come to Parliament for the  “march of the people” on Sunday, June 16th. President Igor Dodon, too, called on the country’s citizens and his supporters to participate in the march, in support of the new government.

Maia Sandu warned that “the Plahotniuc regime will do everything in its power to prevent citizens from coming to the march of the people. They will try to stop public transport, threaten drivers, block the streets.”

“Prepare yourself! Come early, come to your relatives’s place and stay overnight in town. Offer car seats to those who wish, but don’t have the possibility to join. They stop the cars? We walk! They will hear our every step and see that Moldova doesn’t belong to them, but to the people and children of Moldova,” said Maia Sandu at the press conference.

She addressed all police officers who refuse to obey to Plahotniuc’s orders as well as those responsible for national security and citizens to maintain public order and ensure that no citizen of this country would suffer.

Will Plahotniuc’s remaining army find ways to prevent the event from happening? How many of Moldova’s remaining people will attend the rally? That’s for us to find out on the coming Sunday.

Rebranding of DPM’s logo: Constantin Șarcov

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