Successes and failures of Ukraine-Romania relations
Presidents Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Maia Sandu discussed participation in the initiative; Trimorie, uniting twelve EU countries
KIEV – The Presidents of Ukraine and Moldova intend to “remove all issues from the agenda of our good-neighborly relations”.
“This is in the interests of both Ukraine and Moldova,” he stressed Vladimir Zelensky January 12, during a meeting in Kiev with President of Moldova Maia Sandu.
The head of the Ukrainian state noted that Maia Sandu is making his first foreign visit after being elected President of Moldova to Ukraine. Therefore, 2021 should be the year of strengthening friendship and partnership..
Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Maia Sandu, as noted in the press service of the President of Ukraine, created the Presidential Council to address the tasks of the bilateral agenda.
“This is, in particular, a common intention to resume the dialogue at the highest level and make it dynamic, and, most importantly, make it effective. To this end, within the framework of the Presidential Council, we will format the strategy and coordinate our actions to address the tasks of the bilateral agenda, ”Volodymyr Zelenskyy said during a joint statement following the meeting..
During the negotiations, the parties touched upon a number of problematic issues, which for many years remained virtually “on pause”.
The leader of Moldova stressed that during the negotiations an agreement was reached to bring the relations of the two countries to a different level – strategic partnership.
“In recent years, the Moldovan-Ukrainian dialogue at the level of heads of state has been practically suspended. I confirm that Ukraine is a strategic partner for the Republic of Moldova, and maintaining constant and pragmatic cooperation with Ukraine is an important task for the Republic of Moldova and for the institution of the President, ”added Maya Sandu.
Common intention – strategic cooperation
In the Joint Statement signed in Kiev, the leaders of the two countries expressed their “common intention” to resume the dialogue “at a high level”, indicated the desire “to give it a dynamic character, to create the necessary prerequisites for strategic bilateral cooperation”.
“We declare mutual support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova within the internationally recognized borders. We note the desire to strengthen cooperation with partners in South-Eastern Europe and the Black Sea. In this context, we reaffirm our interest in becoming part of the Trimorie initiative, ”the Joint Statement of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy and President of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu emphasizes..
Trimorie, or the Three Seas Initiative, is a presidential-level political platform launched in 2015, according to the organization’s website. The initiative includes twelve EU member states located between the Adriatic, Baltic and Black Seas: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Let us remind you that Maia Sandu won on November 15, 2020 during the presidential elections in Moldova. As reported by the TV channel “Present Time”, she was a candidate from the pro-European Party of Action and Justice and stands for the European orientation of Moldova, at the same time stresses that she does not want to spoil relations with Moscow. At a large press conference on November 30, 2020, Maia Sandu spoke in favor of the withdrawal of the operational group of Russian troops from the unrecognized Transnistria.
The Russian military should leave along with the ammunition that is being guarded in the region, Maia Sandu said at the time, RBC-Ukraine reports. She also noted that she will pay her first foreign official visit to Ukraine.
Scientific Director of the Ilka Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Professor Alexey Garan notes that in order to protect state sovereignty, Moldova and Ukraine have to overcome one common problem – resistance to Russia.
“We have a lot in common, including common problems: Moldova has Transnistria, Ukraine has a part of Donbass and Crimea. And we understand that Russia will continue its corresponding policy towards Transnistria and the Donbass – and we will have to overcome this resistance of Russia, ”Aleksey Garan says to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America.
In a Joint Statement, the leaders of the two countries, he said, outlined quite specific and practical steps.
“The text of this declaration mentions, among other things, the desire to develop the format of cooperation“ European Union + three associated members ”. Also, Ukraine and Moldova want to be members of “Trimorya”. But the point is that there are two points. First, there will still be early parliamentary elections in Moldova and the question of who will win and what the government will be like. The possibilities of the President of Moldova are constitutionally limited and the key role in the republic belongs to the government of Moldova, ”notes Aleksey Garan.
At the same time, he believes that the position of Maia Sandu, in fact, unblocked the dialogue with Ukraine, since the previous President Igor Dodon refused to discuss the annexation of Crimea..
“This led to the fact that at one time Dodon himself asked to meet with Zelensky, but the Ukrainian side refused and demanded to formulate very clearly that Crimea is Ukraine,” Oleksiy Garan emphasizes..
Economy and cross-border cooperation
International Political Scientist Anton Kuchukhidze notes that at the end of 2019, the trade turnover between Moldova and Ukraine amounted to more than $ 896 million.
“This is the official data, the positive balance is more than 600 million dollars in favor of Ukraine. Obviously, President Zelensky wants to increase the economic volume of exports to the Moldovan market, ”Anton Kuchukhidze says to the correspondent of the Russian service of the Voice of America..
He notes that the results of the talks between the presidents of Moldova and Ukraine are quite specific, they can be divided into political and economic components..
“In the political sphere, the parties declared support for territorial integrity and strengthening contacts with the European Union. The pandemic has made its own adjustments and there are problems with access to markets, therefore it is necessary to develop various directions, improve the conditions of border relations – this is also part of the trade and economic dialogue between the two countries, ”notes Anton Kuchukhidze.