Moldova granted observer status in Eurasian Union

(L-R) Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and President of Moldova Igor Dodon (Observer Country), pose for a group photo at the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting in Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan, 14 April. [Igor Kovalenko/ EPA]

Moldova has been granted observer status by the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), in another shift towards Moscow following the election of its new pro-Russian president. EURACTIV Romania reports.

President Igor Dodon revealed on Friday (14 April) that the five member states of the EAEU, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, agreed to bring Moldova into the fold at a meeting held in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital.

“Moldova is the first country that has received this honour. Several countries have put forward initiatives for signing Memorandums of Cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union, Free Trade Agreements or other forms of cooperation with EAEU,” Dodon said in a statement.

He added that it was a “historic day” for the small land-locked Eastern European country but that it did not mean Moldova will become a member of the EAEU right away.

Russian should be mandatory in schools, says Moldovan president

Moldovan President Igor Dodon wants Russian to be made compulsory again in the Eastern European country’s schools, in another move towards Moscow. EURACTIV Romania reports.

Last month, the head of state asked the EAEU’s Supreme Council to grant Moldova observer status within the Union. On 3 April, a cooperation agreement was signed between the two parties.

But Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip, who heads the Democratic Party, warned that the paper Dodon signed has “no legal value” and that it “falls outside of the legal framework”.

Filip also explained that “it is parliament that is the supreme body that approves the direction of domestic and foreign policy”.

Observer status means that the country will be able to take part in the organisation’s activities but it will have no right to vote or participate in decision-making processes.

Dodon insisted that this new status does not conflict with Moldova’s Association Agreement with the EU. The president has in the past suggested he would actually like to see the Agreement scrapped if the Socialist Party, which he used to lead, gains a parliamentary majority next year.

Moldovan president hopes to cancel EU Association Agreement

Moldova’s president said today (17 January) he hoped the ex-Soviet state’s Association Agreement with the European Union would be cancelled if his party obtains a parliamentary majority, paving the way for an alliance with Moscow.

But Dodon also claimed that Moldova is “destined to be friends with both West and East, while maintaining and strengthening neutrality and statehood”, despite previously opposing further NATO cooperation.

Moldova balks at idea of closer NATO ties

Pro-Russian President of Moldova Igor Dodon yesterday (7 February) warned NATO that the closer ties it seeks with his strategically placed country could undermine its neutrality and threaten its security.

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