Dumitru Alaiba: Moldova will retain agreements beneficial for business within the CIS

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Moldova plans to keep the agreements signed within the CIS, which are useful for its economy. This opinion was expressed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Digitalization Dumitru Alaiba. “I think that our exit from the CIS is inevitable, it is incompatible with EU membership, and it would probably be wrong and disingenuous to wait until the last moment, since the choice of the Moldovan people is clear,” Dumitru Alaiba said on the air of N4 TV channel. At the same time, he stressed that the government wants to keep the agreements that have been signed within the CIS, which are economically beneficial for the country. “We have analyzed all the CIS agreements and we do not need most of them. However, we will not break those agreements which are beneficial for entrepreneurs. Moldova will not leave any market voluntarily. But we have to withdraw from most of the agreements, they are inefficient,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Digitalization explained. As previously reported, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture and Food Vladimir Bolea said that the withdrawal from the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly agreement is a long process that may take several years. He specified that no agreement has yet been denounced in agriculture. “We have not denounced anything in agriculture, our agreements are based on phytosanitary certificates, on the recognition of certificates for many other technical things, so we have not taken any steps in this regard. To be very clear: Ukraine, a country at war, has been in the process of denunciation of agreements for six years, because the denunciation is a very long process that involves the signing of treaties and bilateral agreements with other CIS member states,” Head of the Ministry of Agriculture said. Earlier, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova noted that the Moldovan authorities, when speaking about their desire to leave the CIS, are in no hurry to abandon its social and economic benefits. “The Moldovan authorities act duplicitously. While making it clear that they want to leave the CIS, they are in no hurry to give up the existing social and economic benefits of participation in the Commonwealth,” Maria Zakharova said. The diplomat pointed out that these are first, visa-free regime, second, free trade zone, and third, social and other preferences for migrant workers. Maria Zakharova also reminded that almost a quarter of Moldova’s commodity turnover still accounted for the CIS countries. Parliament speaker Igor Grosu said on May 15 that he had decided to initiate the procedure of Moldova’s withdrawal from the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The government is also denouncing a number of other agreements within the CIS framework. At the same time, Speaker Igor Grosu said that Moldova would not denounce those agreements with the Commonwealth of Independent States that would affect Moldovans residing in the CIS. Many observers pointed out that most likely Igor Grosu expressed his private opinion and no decisions have been taken by the Moldovan authorities to leave the CIS. It happens to our parliament speaker from time to time. “If we will see that denunciation of the treaty can lead to a vacuum and additional challenges, for example, when we are more interested in the economic and humanitarian areas. If the denunciation of the treaty somehow affects the situation of our people living there (in the CIS area), we will act carefully and not denounce it. This is what Ukraine did and this is what Georgia did. Certain treaties affecting our people. We have to support our [nationals], whether they stay here or there. Or if the agreement will lead to a vacuum not in relations with Russia, but with other CIS countries, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, then we will have to sign bilateral agreements exactly with these countries and regulate the issues, relations, and then say, “Thank you, we have a bilateral agreement, we do not need this agreement within the CIS anymore,” the speaker said. On May 17, the government has denounced two agreements previously signed with the Commonwealth of Independent States. One of them deals with the exchange of information regarding border protection, and the other deals with the general terms of delivery of goods between the CIS member states. The majority of surveyed Moldovans do not support the idea of the country’s withdrawal from the CIS. Moldova joined the Commonwealth of Independent States in 1994. Georgia and Ukraine left the CIS in 2008 and 2014, respectively.