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Friday, 21 July

Prime Minister Mihai Tudose's visit to Chisinau

Joint press conference by Prime Minister of Romania Mihai Tudose and Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova Pavel Filip


Pavel Filip: Media representatives, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great pleasure for me to greet you here today, in Chisinau, and to thank you for the fact that you decided to pay this working visit to Chisinau, in less than one month since you took over Bucharest Cabinet, little after your visit to Brussels. This, dear friends speaks about Romania’s attitude towards the Republic of Moldova, as it is not a simple bilateral relationship between two states, it is not a simple relationship between two neighboring states, but it is a much deeper relation, a soul bond, as we are speaking the same language, we share the same culture and history. Although it is our first meeting as Prime Ministers, we do not see each other for the first time, we have managed to go beyond the protocol and have a very open, frank and friendly dialogue.

I hope that this relation will become closer following this visit. I mention in this respect that we have several joint projects that we want to continue together. In this context, I would like to thank Prime Minister Mihai Tudose for the support Romania grants to Republic of Moldova on a permanent basis, on various dimensions. This support is extremely important to us. Despite some tough statements that are still made by some Chisinau officials sometimes, the Republic of Moldova knows its real friends and its real path. This path is towards Europe and the values defining the EU space. I spoke with Mr. Prime Minister that irrespective of the political color of Bucharest Governments, the attitude towards the Republic of Moldova has never changed. This is why this cross –party attitude should in my opinion be followed by other political parties and political leaders from here, from Chisinau.

I am glad that the subjects such as: continuation of projects but also our European track which we tackled together with Mr. Prime Minister and with Romanian Government delegation, and they found the necessary understanding. Thus, I confirmed our joint interest to extend and deepen bilateral cooperation in the commercial field, and I want to say once again that Romania is the main commercial partner for the Republic of Moldova. We are glad that increasingly more Moldovan products are to be found on Romania’s market and we are glad that increasingly more Romanian investments are to be found here in the Republic of Moldova. I reiterated here our interest to continue Romanian investments in Moldova, we spoke about the privatization programme we have here in Chisinau and I invited once again Romanian companies to make investments in the Republic of Moldova. We spoke about a strategic project for us, such as the construction of Iasi –Ungheni – Chisinau gas pipeline, it is about independence and security, the energy security of the Republic of Moldova and from this point of view, we agreed that we will move very fast with this project. The technical project will be ready in few weeks, and we hope as quick as possible, surely, we propose the end of 2018 as deadline, but taking into account that things go sometimes faster, sometimes they are lagging behind, we hope nevertheless that by the end of 2018, we already have this gas pipeline operational. Also, on energy chapter, we spoke about the interconnections of electric power. We agreed that we would have a connection anyhow, at least for the beginning, with Romania, it is about the connection on Isaccea- Vulcanesti – Chisinau segment, so that the colleagues will discuss also the other technical notions for us to advance on this project too. I wanted to thank very much our colleagues from Romania for all the projects unfolded to date and which are ongoing. I am talking about the non-refundable loan worth 100 million. You know the projects based on this loan suh as: reconstruction and repair of kindergartens, donation of minibuses, school buses which are very important to us, in the context of the educational reform and optimization of schools and today, we will attend a very beautiful event occasioned by 96 school buses, which were donated by the city of Bucharest. We underlined also and I expressed our full gratitude for the implementation of the SMURD emergency medical service, for the refurbishment of the Institute of Mother and Child, the Art Museum based in Chisinau, and for yearly granting scholarships for 5,000 – 5, 500 youngsters from the Republic of Moldova, and it is very important and I thanked also for transport infrastructure development. I am talking here about the construction of Ungheni Bridge. In conclusion, we had a very good meeting as usually, and the most important aspect of this meeting is that the continuity of our countries’ political commitments was reconfirmed, as well as the determination to move forward and implement our joint projects. Thank you.

Mihai Tudose: Thank you, Prime Minister! Dear media colleagues, I stated at the start of the tenure that my first visit as Prime Minister to other country, my visit to Brussels was to an institution, will be to Moldova, as a public statement about the Government’s attachment to Moldova, to the Cabinet headed by Mr. Filip, to the extraordinary efforts made by Moldova and Moldova’s citizens. Over the last years, figures are far better than two years ago. Reforms were difficult as any reforms, but they have started bearing results regarding living standards, stability and the operation of some institutions. Romania understands to be closer and to further support the Government as Prime Minister has mentioned earlier about kindergartens, hospitals, cultural objectives, objectives pertaining to the citizen’s safety, SMURD 1 and SMURD 2 project, about minibuses. What the Moldova’s Government does and what the Bucharest Government does is to try to come to the support of Moldova, in order to boost the living standards of its citizens. Romania shares this desideratum with Moldova. As regards the other topics, my colleague and friend mentioned them all. Minibuses are a nice gesture and a helping hand for the access to education of children who we hope that after making use of these minibuses, will enrol by thousands to study in Bucharest. I established with Mr. Prime Minister a joint Government meeting, to be held in autumn, in Chisinau, and by then, there will be monthly meetings at Ministers level to boost the joint projects. We further remain an advocate of Moldova at the international level. There are four high European officials in Chisinau who are Romanians, some of them – former Ministers, who are good advocates of Moldova’s interests and I would like to thank them, I look at one of them, I see Mr. Funeriu in the backwards. It is a joint effort but there is a need of continuation and stability, otherwise, all efforts made by Moldova’s Government and Bucharest Government to support  Moldova to cross as soon as possible the path towards EU on which it enrolled, would have been useless. As Prime Minister said, we are totally committed in the joint effort with Moldova.

Reporter: Good afternoon, I will have a question for both Prime Ministers. For the Romanian Prime Minister –Mr. Mihai Tudose, how do you think your visit now to Chisinau will contribute to maintaining the Republic of Moldova’s European path, amid tensions, at least in the last 48 hours, in Chisinau, and the very serious warnings of the European Commission?

And for the Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova – what do you expect from Romania, in this context, as you are practically facing a warning on the halt of the financial assistance from Brussels, and to what extent do you think your Government is facing obstacles in opening a NATO Office in Chisinau? Thank you.

Mihai Tudose: First of all, the change of this system is a right of the Parliament, is the change of a democratic system with other democratic system – there are many countries in the world with this electoral system, therefore, it is nothing out of the ordinary. What is unusual, and I tell you frankly: Romania went through this too, distortions of reality by those who are not your friends who conveyed a completely distorted message to Brussels. I have confidence that the democratic institutions of Moldova are functional and as regards your question on what we are doing to help Moldova, we tell the same thing: Romania itself modified its electoral system a couple of times, you know it very well, with that uninominal vote ...We went through the same experiences. Then, things calmed down when they ascertained that our actions did not come out of the democratic area. We will tell and we have started telling already about what is happening. As you know, everybody learns from their mistakes instead of learning from others’ mistakes. The Chisinau Cabinet will need to be more careful from now on to explain why and how these things are happening.

Pavel Filip: I would start with NATO Office. I want to tell you that we encounter no difficulty here, in Chisinau, with respect to opening NATO Liaison office. I said this on a number of times, even when I was at the at the Headquarters of the North Atlantic Alliance, that the neutrality of the Republic of Moldova does not mean the isolation of this country. We want and I assure you that we will continue to have a good cooperation with the North Atlantic Alliance. What is strictly technically related to the opening of this office, the Republic of Moldova has fulfilled all its obligations, we provided this office. Now there remained only technical issues, in connection with completing the repair of this office, and NATO officials also made a statement in this respect that there is in fact no impediment and no barrier to opening this office except for just some technical issues. And we hope that by August, we would have fixed  these issues and we will have a NATO liaison office here in Chisinau. Regarding what happened in the last 48 hours, the approval or modification of the electoral system here in Chisinau, and certain statements in Brussels: first of all, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that these statements were made by a political family, not by Brussels officials. Unfortunately, this political polemic between the political parties in Chisinau was exported on the European Union's platform. From my point of view – and I subscribe to what Prime Minister Mihai Tudose stated: it does not matter what electoral system is, but it is very important for this electoral system not to infringe democratic norms and not to allow abuses when elections or election campaign are held. These things, I assure you with certainty that they will be observed here in the Republic of Moldova.

Reporter: I have a question for both Prime Ministers: whether you discussed and eventually found a solution for Moldovan citizens with Romanian citizenship, and who acquired this citizenship when they were minors, and now they cannot renew the Romanian passports, do you have a solution to this problem? And a question from our colleagues for Prime Minister Tudose: if you don’t believe that you infringed the recently passed Conduct Code of the Executive, when you attended the opening of Mamaia Hotel, given the fact that this document bars you from using your name and image to promote a commercial activity. Thank you!

Mihai Tudose: (...) Next week, or in two weeks at the latest, the Interior Ministers from Romania and Moldova will have a working meeting on several topics , starting with the border crossing points(...). And the topic you mentioned is very important, we have it on the agenda too. We need to find a solution to solve the problem. As regards the second topic, I will try to be diplomatic in my answer. The event you refer to and which I do not know why it is addressed in Chisinau, was a meeting with tour operators which took place at a hotel, taking into account they are tour operators. For the rest, you can speculate as you wish!

Pavel Filip: Mr. Prime Minister Tudose answered your question in my place.

Mihai Tudose: Together, we established (...).

Reporter: A first question for Prime Minister Filip. We want to have an explicit answer whether the relation between our states will be maintained at the same collaboration parameters, once with the appointment of the new Executive in Bucharest. And the question for Mr. Tudose: how do you view the reform of Chisinau Cabinet and as the electoral system was mentioned, in your opinion, does the Republic of Moldova need the electoral system reform?

Pavel Filip: I said it in the initial statements too that irrespective of the political color of Bucharest Cabinets, I have noticed lately my tenure as Prime Minister, I have met now the third Prime Minister of Romania, and as you can see, our relations have not changed, but, each time, they have become better and better. I told you that this attitude of Romania towards the Republic of Moldova – and attitude has not changed according to the political color of Governments, should be taken over by many political parties and politicians from Chisinau, as unfortunately, some of our politicians make contradictory statements. I have the certitude that our relations shall remain good further on, as it is very important the basis on which these relations have been built to date. Or, the basis of these relations: let us not forget that we share the same language, culture, history, therefore, these relations can never be bad.

Mihai Tudose: The people of the Republic of Moldova decides by its representatives in Parliament, what voting and elective system is more appropriate or necessary, at a certain moment. I cannot express opinions about the policy in this area of an independent state. Seconly: irrespective how representatives are elected, what type of government they back, what matters in my opinion –and I agree here with Mr. Prime Minister – is the continuity of the project. As long as it is a democratic process which generates a functional Parliament, and is ready to install a stable government, and we can see it is stable (...), Moldova is further oriented towards EU, has a European track and a stable economic and social situation – things are all right.

Pavel Filip: Thank you, have a nice day!


Prime Minister Mihai Tudose attended the donation ceremony of 96 school minibuses granted by the Romanian Government


Pavel Filip: Distinguished Prime Minister, honourable representatives of local public authorities, representatives of media institutions, dear friends, before all, allow me on behalf of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, to warmly greet the presence in our country of the Romanian Prime Minister, Mr. Mihai Tudose. Mr. Prime Minister, welcome to Chisinau! You should know that here, in Chisinau, we will always give you a warm welcome, and when saying warm, I refer not to weather outside, but to soul bond.

Romania has always known how to be together with the Republic of Moldova and directly contribute to its development and especially during its hardest times. I have said it repeatedly that, when the Republic of Moldova would have a hard time, the first to lend a helping hand would be our brothers from Bucharest. It happened so last year, when we went through a time of crisis, when financings for our country were blocked. Those who gave us a helping hand and granted us financial support was Romania. For this, I would like to thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, and I want you to know that the citizens of the Republic of Moldova treasure very much this attitude, and the gestures that Romania makes in support of the Republic of Moldova. It is very important and I want today once again to say that we permanently feel this special support on the EU dimension too. On your first visit to EU institutions, a special topic were the discussions about the Republic of Moldova and we are grateful to you for this. Dear friends, the Romanian Prime Minister’s visit abroad was the visit to Chisinau, and I think this speaks about attitude, about the importance of the Republic of Moldova for Romania and we thank for this too. Beyond this, we attend today a very beautiful event. 96 minibuses donated by the Romanian Government to carry pupils to school are in front of us. It is a very important helping hand, it is the second donation of minibuses for the Republic of Moldova, first time, 100 were granted and I say it is important because in the context of the reform in education and school optimization, so that we can provide quality education to our children, these minibuses are very important. I thank you personally and to the entire Romanian people for this gesture. At the same time, I want to highlight many other beautiful projects that have a special impact on the citizens of the Republic of Moldova. I am speaking here about the repair of hundreds of kindergartens attended by kids who will afterwards use the minibuses to go to school and afterwards, they may use those 5,500 scholarships awarded by the Romanian Government so that students continue their studies at universities, in Romania. I thank you for the financial support and the refurbishment of the Mother and Child Institute. Thank you for the refurbishment at the Art Museum. I would like to thank you for the other projects as well which I consider above all, that they are a matter of heart for the Romanian Government. We thank you very much and know that we know to be grateful, both the Government and all the citizens of the Republic of Moldova.

Mihai Tudose: Thank you, Prime Minister. Dear friends...I have friends here... as Prime Minister said, my visit to Chisinau along with Cabinet members, is a public statement. We are further offering and we publicly declare the support for Moldova both politically, in relation with Western partners and strategically, regarding energy supply of the Republic of Moldova, the energy safety being one of the staple in any country, but our joint efforts, of the two Governments are directed towards improving the living standards, starting from kindergartens, reaching up to schools, transport and access to education, which is very important, and culminating with scholarships granted by Romania’s Government to the students of the Republic of Moldova, which strengthen the ties between the two countries, but at human level. The educational reform is very important and it was very well received and I see it is very appreciated the rendering compatible of the two systems, from Romania and Moldova, and practically, compatibility with the European system. It is one more chance for the citizens and the children of the Republic of Moldova, a foundation stone at Moldova’s EU integration. I thank you very much for the opportunity provided, Mr. Prime Minister to work together for the common good of the brother nations. Thank you very much. 


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