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Eastern Partnership Summit: Moldova cannot live without Russia

During their meeting in Riga on May 22 Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti and Latvian President Andris Berzins discussed Moldova’s achievements and prospects in its integration with the European Union.

Timofti was in Riga to attend an Eastern Partnership summit. So, the presidents also discussed the agenda of the meeting.

Timofti presented Moldova’s priorities and stressed the importance of support by all EU members for the reforms carried out in the country. Timofti thanked Berzins for his decision to ratify Moldova’s association agreement with the EU.

Berzins confirmed his commitment to support Moldova in its way towards Europe.

Meanwhile, The New York Times (NYT) points out that for Moldova Russia is becoming more attractive than the EU as in Riga too the Europeans are not going to offer EU memberships to any of the former Soviet republics. This, according to the NYT, will disappoint the Moldovans and will turn them towards Russia.

“Russia doesn’t have to do anything. It just has to wait. The idea of Europe has discredited itself," says Ian Feldman, member of the governmental anti-discrimination council. "Today, Moldova’s feuding pro-European politicians, like their counterparts in Ukraine, are so tainted by their failure to combat corruption and create a functioning state that, to many here, Russia looks appealing,” the NYT says.

Former Moldova Prime Minister Yuri Lianke admits that the Moldovan authorities are no longer supported by their people.

Recent polls have shown that only 32% of Moldovans still want to join the European Union, with only 40% of Moldovans supporting the EU against 78% in 2007.

“Moldova’s pro-European politicians were very good at singing the European song to impress Brussels. But in reality, they have really mucked up, discrediting both their own pro-European parties and the European Union. As a result, many ordinary people now believe that “Russia cannot be any worse,” the NYT says.

According to Igor Dodon, the Socialist Party leader, Moldova cannot live without the Russian market. “The European Union needed a success story and chose us. But now everyone sees this was all an illusion,” he says.

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