The presidential race, lasting for several months, has finally come to an end in Moldova. According to the preliminary official data provided by the Central Election Commission (after processing 99.9% of ballots), the leader of the Moldovan Party of Socialists, Igor Dodon has won the country's presidential elections.
Surely, Ukraine has been following the electoral process in the neighboring country with particular attention. First of all, because of Igor Dodon’s statements about “Russian Crimea”.
What relations Moldova and Ukraine will have after the politician comes to power, who does not hide his urge towards improving relations with Russia, in which he sees the economic and strategic partner and at the same time wants to maintain good relations with the European Union? How the choice of Moldova’s citizens will influence the relations between Ukraine and Moldova?
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine to Moldova Ivan Hnatyshyn has shared his opinion on this situation in an exclusive interview with Ukrinform.
- The second round of presidential elections took place in Moldova yesterday [November 13]. What Ukraine feels about the results and what consequences will they have in the future?
- Ukraine respects the results of free will of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova. We are interested in social, political and economic stability be maintained in the neighboring state and the system of state government bodies to operate properly.
- According to the results of preliminary voting data, the winner is the leader of the Party of Socialists, Igor Dodon, who believes that “Crimea belongs to Russia". How may this affect Moldova-Ukraine relations?
- Still [on November 14] we have only preliminary results. But I should point out that peoples of the two neighboring countries have the centuries-old historical, economic, cultural and family ties that create a huge potential for further development. We understand the aspirations of Moldovans for sustainable economic development, prosperity, peace and harmony. And we will respect the choice of people of the neighboring state.
- So, this means that the Ukrainian-Moldovan relations will not be significantly changed in the future?
We will continue to step up cooperation in all spheres on the basis of good neighborly relations.
We will actively develop the cooperation with Government and Parliament of the Republic of Moldova.
We have a range of joint projects and events important for the both countries, which we are planning to implement.
As soon as tomorrow, November 15, a meeting of co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Ukrainian-Moldovan Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation at the level of deputy prime ministers of the two countries is to be held in Chisinau. The work of the Commission is resumed after a 5 year interval. I am sure that the so-called "package agreements", including the completion of the process of demarcation and ensuring the work of Dniester hydro power scheme and other important issues will be sequentially resolved.
Also, the earlier postponed meeting of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko with Moldovan Prime Minister Pavel Filip will be held, as well as the opening of the Bronnitsa-Ungur road bridge.
A meeting of Prime Ministers of Ukraine and Moldova, Volodymyr Groysman and Pavel Filip, is expected to take place in Kyiv at the level of heads of governments of member countries of the GUAM [Organization for Democracy and Economic Development].
- And that’s all will take place until the end of the current year? It’s rather an eventful program.
Yes, we have a lot of things to do. And we are sure that we will jointly overcome difficulties and fulfil what we planned
- Ivan Mykolayovych, how Moldova-Ukraine relations will develop if Moldova chooses the eastern vector of foreign policy?
- I again stress - we respect the choice and decisions of the people of Moldova if these decisions are taken consciously, not manipulatively.
I am sure that the success of joint projects’ implementation, and some of them foresee the financial support of the European Union, depends on the invariability of the European course of Ukraine and Moldova, the continuation of implementation of reforms, as well as mutual support on this way.
- What is the position of Moldova on the aggression of Russia against Ukraine?
The support of Ukraine was repeatedly confirmed in the speeches of the president, prime minister and deputy prime minister - minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Moldova.
We hope that the position of official Chisinau will not change in the future.
Ukraine will hold a dialogue with the president legitimately elected by the people of Moldova, who will respect international law, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
I’ll stress once again that ties with Moldova are deeper than any changes in policy.
Zinaida Hurska, Chisinau