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Basescu: Republic of Moldova has no alternative to European track

President Traian Basescu said, on Wednesday, that the Republic of Moldova has no other option than the European track, emphasizing at the same time that, in Chisinau, there is an internal opposition to this process, which he cannot explain.

'Here my visit must be interpreted not only in response to the invitation of Mr. President Timofti, but as a visit that comes at a very important moment for the future of the Republic of Moldova. The Republic of Moldova is preparing for the biggest success in the process launched quite many years ago, that of EU approach and future integration, namely the signing of association agreements with the EU and the initialling of the Free Trade Agreement. This is to take place in Vilnius, on November 27 to 28, this year, on the occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit', said Basescu in a joint press declaration with the President of the Republic of Moldova, Nicolae Timofti.

In this context, the President stressed that the fact that the Republic of Moldova is drawing closer to the EU is also due to its citizens.

'I want you to know that, if there is someone who has a merit for this moment approach, it is the people of the Republic of Moldova, the Republic of Moldova's politicians who believe in the European solution. Certainly, I do not want to talk about alternatives. In my opinion, the Republic of Moldova has no alternative other than the European one for its future course, because I never assessed in the history of the Republic of Moldova other destination, and I refer to the entire history of this land, other than the European one. You are getting ready for a great success of the country and I came to be beside you in an important moment and to gave assurances that Romania further remains an advocate without reservation as concerns the European path of the Republic of Moldova, respecting at the same time the option of the Republic of Moldova's military neutrality. Romania has never raised the issue of other approaches than the one that the Republic of Moldova had constitutionally taken', the head of the Romanian state pointed out.

Asked if there could be any 'provocation' from Russia, ahead of the Summit in Vilnius, Basescu said he does not believe it.

'Challenges from Moscow, I do not think. Moscow is the capital of a state which respects itself too much, to step in the realm of organized provocations, state perpetrated', Basescu added.

President Basescu was keen to underlined that, in the case of the Republic of Moldova, the situation is different when compared to Romania ahead of its accession to the EU.

'In the Republic of Moldova, for example, the situation is different when compared to that of Romania before integration. In Romania, regardless of the party type, it was unanimity at the political level in respects of the European track. So, there was no internal opposition to the road to the EU. Here, it seems that, in recent months, an internal opposition is emerging, though I beg you to believe me, please go back and see the press conferences with former president Voronin, when together we spoke about the European road. Here, also in Chisinau, we talked about the Government's option during Mr. Voronin's presidency. Now I understand that Mr. Voronin has forgotten that he was born and that his parents are from Dubasari, and that he hardly could cross the border to see his parents' tomb, when he was the head of this state. Options appear I cannot explain. The people of this country is a Latin people. I did not see citizens of the Republic of Moldova with slanted eyes, so I think the option is in favor of the European integration. And, in case of the civil society's options, I am convinced that the majority of population would express a pro-European option', Basescu concluded.


Basescu: Moldova unable to finalise accession talks with EU unless Transnistria issue is solved


Moldova will be unable to finalise its accession talks with the European Union unless the Transnistria issue is first solved, Romania's President Traian Basescu said Wednesday in Chisinau, where he met representatives of Moldova's civil society.

'The finalisation of accession negotiations with the EU is not possible without the resolution of the Transnistria conflict. The EU has learned the lesson of Cyprus. It was a tough lesson in which one country with territory issues entered the EU only to generate much inconvenience in Greece's relationship with Turkey,' said Basescu, mentioning to the point the example of Serbia as well that had to give up in the Kosovo case so that it may start off accession talks with the EU.

He also mentioned that in order for a solution to the Transnistria problem to be found, Moldova should follow a direct approach in the relation with Russia so as to support a decision in the current 5+2 negotiating format.

Basescu said a solution to this conflict is not easy to identify and Moldova should make its positions more flexible. 'It will not be easy and probably both sides should make their positions more flexible, allthough, when I speak of flexibility this should start from the premise that Moldova is not ceding the smallest part of its land,' said Basescu.

He suggested that Romania will not get directly involved in the settlement of the conflict, but it will provide support for all of Moldova's decisions. 'Romania will always follow the opinion of Moldova, which will be backed up directly and inside the EU, no comment on it,' said Basescu.


Timofti, Basescu talk about requirement of new bridges over the Prut


President Traian Basescu and his Moldovan counterpart Nicolae Timofti talked, in Chisinau, on Wednesday about the requirement of new bridges should be built over the Prut.

'We also discussed the requirement of new bridges should be built over the Prut in the area of Ungheni town and Leca, in the Republic of Moldova and Falciu, in Romania,' President of the Republic of Moldova said during the joint news conference with Romania's President.According to Timofti, during the talks it was also express the desire of boosting the economic ties as well.

'We expressed our wish for boosting the commercial ties and the mutual investments. As for the cultural field, I thanked President Basescu for the book donation numbering one million books, to the schools and the regional libraries or to other Moldovan libraries, and that to the church of Soroca, and for the 5,500 scholarships granted to the Moldovan pupils and students,' said President Timofti.


Traian Basescu on Iasi-Ungheni gas interconnector project


President Traian Basescu, while on a visit to Chisinau today, hailed the upcoming start of construction works on the Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline; plans are also afoot to interconnect the Romanian and Moldovan power grids this fall. Basescu said that as a result, the Republic of Moldova will no longer depend on just one energy source.

'A gas pipeline is a complicated project. The standards of the Republic of Moldova had to be adjusted to EU ones Romania also complies with, specific legislation had to be put in place, and a project had to be devised for crossing the Prut river,' said Basescu.

He also announced that in October the Falciu-Grotesti power grids interconnection line will also be completed 'for the Republic of Moldova to have an alternative and no longer rely on a single source of import energy.' President Basescu added that Romania covers 80% of its own gas consumption and after the interconnection project is completed, the Republic of Moldova will also have alternative gas supply sources at hand.

Traian Basescu added that Romania will provide funding for the energy systems interconnection projects from the EUR 100 million grant previously pledged by Bucharest.

President of the Republic of Moldova Nicolae Timofti mentioned in turn that works on the construction of the gas interconnector on the territory of Moldova will begin at the end of August and that Romania will provide Moldova between 9 and 12 million euros for this project. Timofti also highlighted the importance the interconnection of the two states' power grids has for the Republic of Moldova.

The Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline will connect Romania and the Republic of Moldova's gas grids, and will have an annual transport capacity of 1.5 billion cubic meters. The pipeline will have a total length of 43.2 kilometers, running approximately 32 kilometers on Romania's territory. The construction of the gas interconnector is aimed at strengthening the energy security of the Republic Moldova.