28 Nov 2019 18:37

Russia, West set no conditions on foreign policy to Moldova - FM

CHISINAU. Nov 28 (Interfax) - Newly appointed Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Aureliu Ciocoi thinks that his country can enhance equally good relations both with the East and with the West.

"No one prevents Moldova from building good relations both with the West and with the East. Neither the East, nor the West put forth any conditions regarding the issue with whom Moldova should enhance partner relations. Brussels partners have an opinion that Moldova as a sovereign country can build partnership relations with anyone it wants to, and this is an incentive pursued by Russia, which understands that Moldova wants special relations with the European Union and is entitled to make decisions," the minister said in an interview with the Europa Libera radio station on Thursday.

"Russia wants to see normal relations with Moldova, and a constructive and pragmatic dialogue in the interests of both countries," he said.

"And, I do not understand why many analysts think that as soon as we begin the discussion with Russia, all of this means that Russia is trying to take over us, and harm Moldova. This is not so," Ciocoi said.

"Moldova is consistently implementing its commitments," he said, commenting on the relations with the EU.

"Above all, the complete implementation of the Association Agreement serves our interests. Moreover, I would go further and would begin already the unilateral fulfilment of the Copenhagen criteria (the terms of accession to the EU), but not only for reporting to Brussels, but for improving the living standards in our country in line with European standards," the diplomat said.

"The dialogue is being maintained, and there are some contacts," the foreign minister said, asked about the relations with Romania and Ukraine, which do not want to talk to President Igor Dodon.

"We are expecting the ties to be improved at the level of the Moldovan and Romanian heads of government. This is our strategic partner, and no one questions the fact that Romania is our main trade partner. Ukraine is also an important partner. We are just destined to have good relations with neighboring countries," the minister said.

Ciocoi was appointed minister in the new government approved on November 14. Prior to that, he has served as a presidential advisor for foreign policy over the past two years. He has earlier worked in the Moldovan embassy to Germany and later as the Moldovan ambassador to Germany, China and the United States for many years.