Ukraine’s position will not tell in whatever way on the European Union’s relations with Moldova

Ukraine’s position will not tell in whatever way on the European Union’s relations with Moldova, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, Stefan Fule, stated during his Monday’s video conference with journalists from Moldova and the Republic of Georgia.     

The diplomat voiced regret over the changed position of Ukraine, whose Government stated last week that it was suspending its preparation to signing the Association Agreement with the European Union.    

He said Ukraine’s decision, no matter what it could be – because Europe did not hear a distinct statement from President Yanukovitch, will not tell absolutely on EU’s resolution to advance further in relations with Moldova.   

“We have excellent cooperation with Chisinau on all issues, including concerning visa regime liberalization. Moldova has fulfilled necessary conditions, and in the nearest future the European Commission is going to recommend the European Parliament and member countries to approve such decision. Much depends on the member countries. I think that at passing a decision, they will take into account the home task fulfilled by Moldova and latest events in the region”, said the EU Commissioner.       

Asked how the European Union will be protecting Eastern Partnership member countries from Russia’s pressure, Stefan Fule said the closer these countries  become to the European Union – through political association, a deeper economic integration and citizens’ greater mobility, the better the Union’s  protection will be.

“We regret about the unilateral measures taken by Russia with respect to some Eastern Partnership members lately. The European Union will continue explaining to the Russian side and to opposition forces in the partner countries that the deepening of relations within the Eastern Partnership is not done at the expense of relations with Russia. So, everybody will eventually win from this decision”, said Stefan Fule.     

He stressed that it is extremely important for Moldova to initial the Association Agreement with the European Union (including the document’s essential integral part – the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement) at this week’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius i.e. before the mandates of the incumbent European Parliament and European Commission expire.   

“After Vilnius, we will determine 3-4 reforms that will have to be implemented in Moldova prior to Association Agreement signing in the second half of September 2014. We will also include Moldova into the list of countries, whose citizens will be permitted to visit freely the Schengen Zone without visas”, said the EU Commissioner.      

According to him, by means of these reforms conditions will be created that will enable Moldova to get efficiently integrated into the European Union.    

Stefan Fule said the European Union respects the choice of Ukraine, which has the right to choose its own political way.   

In his words, the ‘Ukrainian file’ is still on the EU table. However, during this unexpected pause, the money that was projected for Ukraine may now go to another partner.    

Fule also said that Moldova will require less time for initialing and signing its Association Agreement than Ukraine, which required 1 year longer for this work, and now it may possibly require 2 years. The European Union is trying to pass possibly faster all these essential decisions and to prepare necessary documents, some of which are up to one thousand pages thick.      

As for the Moldovan opposition and Kremlin’s sayings concerning Moldova’s European integration, Stefan Fule said that the European Union has been in dialog with Moscow, and explains that the Eastern Partnership countries’ integration with Europe does not mean a blockade of their relations with Russia.    

As for the opposition’s opinion, it must be heard in any democratic country, said the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy.   

Adapted from Infotag