Cahul.

Despite setbacks, Romania will continue supporting the inclusion of Moldova in the Western Balkan group of countries that were promised EU accession, Romanian President Traian Basescu pledged during a visit to his country’s neighbour, EurActiv Romania reports.

Speaking to students in the Southern Moldovan city of Cahul on Thursday (28 January), Basescu admitted that attempts to convince the EU that Moldova should benefit from the same treatment as the Western Balkan countries had failed.

The internal problems Moldova is facing present too great an obstacle to achieving this goal, Basescu said.

„Our request that Moldova is treated like the Western Balkan countries will be taken into account when Moldova has sufficiently evolved,” Basescu said, pouring cold water on Moldova’s EU ambitions.

„This has been my message to Moldova’s leaders. We will be a good partner, we don’t want to smother you, but we can help you prepare for the EU accession process and offer support in the EU Council and Brussels institutions.”

The Romanian president also revealed that his country had opposed visa liberalisation with Serbia in the hope that Moldova would benefit from the same treatment. Serbians have benefited from visa-free travel throughout Europe’s Schengen area since 19 December 2009.

„I will tell you something that I’m not sure I should make public, but it’s true. We supported both Serbia and Moldova. But we realised that because of the lack of progress in Moldova under the former leadership, if we kept insisting for both countries [to benefit from the same treatment], we would cause harm to Serbia,” Basescu said, quoted by Deutsche Welle.

Basescu added that after Romania had overcome its initial reluctance, Serbia was able to present its accession application and obtain visa-free travel (EurActiv 04/01/10).

The Romania president said he was unhappy with the EU’s role in Moldova’s Transnistria region (see ‘Background’), suggesting that the post-Soviet ‘frozen conflict’ area could remain a serious obstacle for Moldova’s EU ambitions. He added that the USA should be more active in this context.

The Moldovan Communist Party of former President Vladimir Voronin issued a declaration on the occasion of Basescu’s visit, stating that the Romanian president „offends the entire Moldovan population by questioning the identity and the language of Moldova”.

The statement apparently refers to the widespread satisfaction in Romania after acting Moldovan president Mihail Ghimpu said an upcoming revision of the constitution would change the language’s name to Romanian (EurActiv 13/01/10).

When he was president, Voronin insisted that the country’s language name was „the state language” in order to avoid any reference to Romania.

„This is part of the Bolshevik rhetoric,” Basescu retorted, adding: „Bolsheviks do not know shame. They think they can say anything, any time, to anyone […] I am a Christian and I forgive Mr. Voronin. But Mr. Voronin has a problem with history,” Basescu said.

Read the article on Focus Information Agency (Bulgaria)

EurActiv: Romania strives to attach Moldova to Balkan EU train

Cahul.

Despite setbacks, Romania will continue supporting the inclusion of Moldova in the Western Balkan group of countries that were promised EU accession, Romanian President Traian Basescu pledged during a visit to his country’s neighbour, EurActiv Romania reports.

Speaking to students in the Southern Moldovan city of Cahul on Thursday (28 January), Basescu admitted that attempts to convince the EU that Moldova should benefit from the same treatment as the Western Balkan countries had failed.

The internal problems Moldova is facing present too great an obstacle to achieving this goal, Basescu said.

„Our request that Moldova is treated like the Western Balkan countries will be taken into account when Moldova has sufficiently evolved,” Basescu said, pouring cold water on Moldova’s EU ambitions.

„This has been my message to Moldova’s leaders. We will be a good partner, we don’t want to smother you, but we can help you prepare for the EU accession process and offer support in the EU Council and Brussels institutions.”

The Romanian president also revealed that his country had opposed visa liberalisation with Serbia in the hope that Moldova would benefit from the same treatment. Serbians have benefited from visa-free travel throughout Europe’s Schengen area since 19 December 2009.

„I will tell you something that I’m not sure I should make public, but it’s true. We supported both Serbia and Moldova. But we realised that because of the lack of progress in Moldova under the former leadership, if we kept insisting for both countries [to benefit from the same treatment], we would cause harm to Serbia,” Basescu said, quoted by Deutsche Welle.

Basescu added that after Romania had overcome its initial reluctance, Serbia was able to present its accession application and obtain visa-free travel (EurActiv 04/01/10).

The Romania president said he was unhappy with the EU’s role in Moldova’s Transnistria region (see ‘Background’), suggesting that the post-Soviet ‘frozen conflict’ area could remain a serious obstacle for Moldova’s EU ambitions. He added that the USA should be more active in this context.

The Moldovan Communist Party of former President Vladimir Voronin issued a declaration on the occasion of Basescu’s visit, stating that the Romanian president „offends the entire Moldovan population by questioning the identity and the language of Moldova”.

The statement apparently refers to the widespread satisfaction in Romania after acting Moldovan president Mihail Ghimpu said an upcoming revision of the constitution would change the language’s name to Romanian (EurActiv 13/01/10).

When he was president, Voronin insisted that the country’s language name was „the state language” in order to avoid any reference to Romania.

„This is part of the Bolshevik rhetoric,” Basescu retorted, adding: „Bolsheviks do not know shame. They think they can say anything, any time, to anyone […] I am a Christian and I forgive Mr. Voronin. But Mr. Voronin has a problem with history,” Basescu said.

Read the article on Focus Information Agency (Bulgaria)

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