31 Mar 2010 19:11

Moscow says doesn

CHISINAU. March 31 (Interfax) - Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov on Wednesday said Moscow can see no conflict between Moldova's efforts to integrate with the European Union and its membership in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

"Moldova chooses its own foreign policy. It can just as well cooperate in the West as in the East. Nor are we against Moldova taking part in customs union project," Shuvalov told a briefing in Chisinau after meeting with Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat.

Shuvalov was referring to the emergent Russian-Belarusian-Kazakh customs union which aims to create a single economic space.

"Our relations have tremendous potential for boosting various forms of cooperation with Moldova. This applies not only to the wine-making industry but also to various energy projects. Such developments are in our interest as well, and we believe that the economic security of Moldova depends on it," Shuvalov said.

He also said it was important that Moldova join celebrations in Moscow marking the 65th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.

"It was our common victory, and the heroes of the Great Patriotic War must be properly appreciated," he said.

Shuvalov also said acting Moldovan President Mihai Ghimpu is due to attend an informal CIS summit in Russia on May 8.

Filat confirmed that relations with Russia and economic cooperation within the CIS are a priority for Moldova and said Shuvalov's current visit to Moldova would "possibly become a new step in relations between the two countries."