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Estonia Supports European Union’s Establishment of Visa Freedom and Free Trade with Moldova

12.09.2013

Nr 285-E

In a meeting today with Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca in Chisinau, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia supports the European Union’s establishment of visa freedom and free trade with Moldova by next year at the latest.

According to Paet, Moldova has a sovereign right to decide its own future. “Exerting pressure, including through trade relations, with the objective of influencing a state to forgo integration with the European Union is not acceptable,” he stressed Russia suspended imports of Moldovan wine and agricultural products.

Paet said that Estonia’s goal is the conclusion of an association- and free trade agreement between the European Union and Moldova before next summer.

The Estonian foreign minister encouraged the Moldovan prime minister to do more outreach work about the usefulness of EU integration, using the examples of free trade and free movement of people. “Thus far, Moldovan integration with the European Union has been an example for other Eastern Partnership states,” said Paet. He added that it is important to use every opportunity to involve Transnistria positively in this process. “Transnistria cannot inhibit Moldovan integration with the EU,” he noted.

Moldova continues to be a priority state for Estonia in the field of development cooperation. “From our side, we will continue supporting Moldova through development cooperation in order to assist Moldova’s political and economic integration, and we encourage other EU states to support do so as well,” said Paet. “Since 2011, we have doubled development assistance to Moldova. In 2012 it was almost 500,000 Euros and it is also in the same order of magnitude in 2013,” he added. Paet confirmed that Estonia will continue to provide scholarships for students, civil servants, and diplomats to study at Estonian universities and the Estonian School of Diplomacy.

When meeting with Moldovan Foreign Minister Natalia Gherman, Paet said that Estonia considers Moldova’s experiences to be valuable for other societies that are developing democracies. “It is positive that Moldova participates in the activity of the Community of Democracies and the LEND project, which is carried out in that framework and supports new democracies, with Moldovan experts being involved in the consulting process for Tunisia’s new constitution,” emphasised Paet. 



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