29 october


James George Jatras, Deputy Director of the American Institute in Ukraine (AIU), believes that the holding in Moldova of a referendum on the Association Agreement with the European Union would well help save Moldova’s unity.

Speaking at a roundtable conference in Chisinau on Tuesday, the American expert said that Moldova is preparing for a crucial election due on November 30, which can give a solution to the important-most question of the further fate of the Association Agreement and its essential component – the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). In his words, it is not clear in the present-day situation whether the Moldovan political class is taking account of the edifying history of the neighbor Ukraine.

In his opinion, in the conditions of a sharp difference of opinions, boiling passions and a strong polarization of outlooks, local political leaders are less and less seeking to communicate with opponents in the spirit of compromise and mutual respect.

James Jatras presumes that instead of putting off the referendum question until after the elections depending on who will win, may be it is worthwhile asking all sides to speak out their opinions now, before the elections? The sides’ readiness to hold such referendum after the elections may help preserve Moldova’s unity, believes the expert.

In his words, by learning from Ukraine’s unsuccessful example, it is very important for Moldovans to look for balanced decisions that would unite the country, not split it into parts. And this is very important also for Transnistria and Gagauzia, James Jatras stressed.

He believes we all should constantly bear in mind the example of Ukraine, which has found itself in a chaos after Victor Yanukovitch’s attempt to only change, not to break up the Agreement between Kiev and Brussels. That mere attempt disclosed the irreconcilable struggle waged by the principle of “winner gets everything” between those who are for and those against Europe.

“And all hopes for a balance in Ukraine and in the world have become impossible. This should not repeat in Moldova”, warned James Jatras.