18 june

Moldova must choose between EU and CIS – russian deputy minister of economy

The European Union and the Commonwealth of Independent States are incompatible, therefore Moldova must make its choice, presumes Alexei Likhachev, Deputy Minister of the Economic Development of Russia.

He said in an interview with the Russian Information Agency “Novosti” [“News”] that Moscow has warned Chisinau about the risks that may appear if Moldova signs its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the European Union.

“Moldova will be not able to combine two regulatory systems – the CIS and the EU, so Chisinau will have to choose. If the choice is in favor of the European system, the CIS system will cease to be comfortable for the republic. But our Moldovan colleagues are saying they will manage to avoid this, and promised to present their proofs”, said the Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development.

He emphasized that Russia’s position on the issue is pragmatic and has no relation to Moldova’s political choice.

“We mean only the economic risks that may be incurred by Moldova as well as by Russia. The incumbent Agreement on the zone of free trade within the CIS area gives the Customs Union [of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan] the right to engage a mechanism of protecting its own market if a CIS country creates a zone of free trade with a third country”, explained the deputy minister.

Alexei Likhachev said that Russia had proposed Chisinau to organize tripartite consultations, with the participation of EU officials, to analyze possible risks for each of the sides in each sphere of economic activities.