Romanian Government



Thursday, 09 December

Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă’s meeting with Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Natalia Gavrilița


Joint press statements by Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă and his counterpart from the Republic of Moldova, Natalia Gavrilița

 

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Nicolae-Ionel Ciucă: Good afternoon! Welcome to Bucharest, Prime Minister! I am very glad that you honoured the invitation to pay this first visit. We are honoured by your presence at the Romanian Government headquarters. Your visit takes place shortly after the official visit of the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, on November 23, at the invitation of President Klaus Iohannis. Today’s talks set the concrete benchmarks of our cooperation in the coming period based on the Strategic Partnership for European Integration of the Republic of Moldova and starting from the community of language, culture and history. We also start from the Roadmap on priority areas of cooperation Romania-Republic of Moldova, signed on the sidelines of the visit of the President [of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu] and which lists all sectoral initiatives of priority interest.

Your visit today marks the continuation of the joint effort to implement the bilateral agenda, which is ambitious and forward-looking.

We have decided to have an intense, pragmatic and efficient cooperation, not only at the level of prime ministers but also at the level of each member of the two Governments. I wanted to thank my counterpart for the special, highly-appreciated support, granted by the medical teams from the Republic of Moldova in November, in the context of a virulent wave 4 of the COVID-19 pandemic in Romania.

We had very applied discussions on a wide range of topics. We have outlined the common interest in expanding cooperation in the economic field. We have an excellent starting point, Romania is the first trading partner of the Republic of Moldova. We want, however, much more, we support the consolidation of Romanian investments in the Republic of Moldova and this will require improving the business environment in the Republic of Moldova so that it will be more attractive for Romanian investors and not only. We have a rich bilateral agenda, with clear and impactful projects for our citizens.

We would like to conclude soon a new agreement on granting non-reimbursable financial assistance to the Republic of Moldova. The old agreement signed in 2010 came into force this year, in March, but we are committed to working together so that we can extend its validity. Another priority topic is energy interconnection and I refer here to the interconnection of power lines between Romania and the Republic of Moldova. We are also pursuing the implementation of infrastructure projects with a central role in connecting the Republic of Moldova to the European space through Romania, with special emphasis on the construction of the Ungheni road bridge or the consolidation of the Galati - Giurgiulesti road bridge. Also, another topic of interest to citizens - reducing roaming charges.

In this regard, we encourage discussions at the level of regulatory authorities and mobile operators in the two states to find solutions as soon as possible. At the same time, we pursue the development of projects in areas such as justice and home affairs, health, education, labour, agriculture, research, culture, environment, water and forests, as well as official development assistance. There are therefore projects with a positive impact on all citizens, designed to support the reform process and their approaches aimed at development and modernization. At the same time, these actions are of strategic relevance if we consider, for example, the actions aimed at increasing resilience by strengthening energy security.

These are projects designed to strengthen the European path of the Republic of Moldova, to reconfirm its membership in the set of values on which the European Union is based, to support the efforts of the Republic of Moldova’s authorities to boost the living standards of the population, firmly fight corruption, strengthen the rule of law, modernize the administration and the education system or increase the resilience of the health system. We are, therefore, in a period of the robust relaunch of in-depth bilateral cooperation. We share clear objectives, as we want to implement the many projects already outlined. We agreed with Prime Minister Gavriliță to meet soon, at the beginning of next year, at a new joint meeting of the two Cabinets. In the remaining time, we will work closely for the accelerated advancement of bilateral projects in key areas. There is openness and an unprecedented climate of trust in bilateral relations. We understand that we must firmly capitalize on this window of opportunity, as well as on the dynamic dialogue at the presidential, parliamentary and governmental levels. That is why I am looking forward to working together and I want to assure you, Prime Minister, that we fully support you, that we are fully committed to these joint efforts. Thank you!

 Natalia Gavrilița: Thank you! Dear Prime Minister, dear media representatives, I would like first to thank you Prime Minister for your hospitality and warm welcome. It is a great honour for me to be the first Prime Minister you welcome at the Victoria Palace for an official visit. I believe that this fact reflects the special privileged relationship existing between the Republic of Moldova and Romania, a relationship based on the community of language, culture and history and the deep attachment to fundamental European values. I am also pleased to have this opportunity to visit Bucharest just two weeks after President Maia Sandu was here when the new Roadmap on Priority Areas of Cooperation was signed. We enjoy a historic chance to transform the language community into a community of great projects to the benefit of the people on both banks of the Prut River, by building new bridges, both symbolical and concrete ones, whether we are talking about the interconnection in the energy field, about connecting the transport infrastructure in the Republic of Moldova to European networks, or facilitating telecommunications between the two shores. A better economic and commercial integration, and in the field of infrastructure, of Romania and the Republic of Moldova, would be a guarantee of accelerated integration of her country in the European Union. The Roadmap is a natural continuation of our friendship relation which manifested itself not only in words but also in deeds.

Romania supported Moldova during the most difficult times of recent years: during the COVID-19 pandemic and the energy crisis. I would like to take this opportunity to voice our sincere thanks for Romania's generous solidarity with our citizens, who received hundreds of thousands of doses of COVID vaccines, or doctors in the Republic of Moldova, who received protective equipment and other materials when they could hardly be found on international markets. So it was the normal thing to do for us to show solidarity when we had that opportunity as well.

In the context of the energy crisis, Romania has once again jumped to the aid of the Republic of Moldova through the gas delivered in October which helped us maintain the pressure in the system against the decreasing gas delivery volumes we have faced.

Also, thanks to the supply of the natural gas transmission pipeline Iasi - Ungheni - Chisinau, the Republic of Moldova will be able to take important steps in ensuring independence and energy security. We would like to thank you once again for standing by us, in this difficult period. Apart from the latest crises, we count on Romania's help to fulfil the Government's agenda to transform the Republic of Moldova into a modern European state, in which the law and the rule of law should be at the forefront and institutions fully work to the best interest of the citizens and not for the sake of particular and obscure interests. The fight against corruption is the prerequisite for the economic and social development of the Republic of Moldova. This way, we can persuade our citizens to return and remain home, we will strengthen the state institutions, we will attract even more investors to create better–paid jobs for our citizens. The Republic of Moldova wants more investors from Romania, this Cabinet I am leading is the guarantee that business people will benefit from fair treatment and support in our country. We are living a unique moment in the history of the Republic of Moldova, when all the top institutions - Presidency, Parliament, Government - have assumed together, based on the mandate entrusted by citizens, by a large majority, a country project focused on European integration, as a benchmark to improve people's quality of life, so that our citizens can trust that they can fulfil their aspirations at home. And we will be able to achieve this goal, as I said, by building new bridges that will connect us to Europe, and the road to Europe is naturally through Romania.

An absolute priority is to achieve by 2024 the interconnection of energy systems between Romania and the Republic of Moldova, thus consolidating our independence and energy security. Concomitantly, we want to build roads linking the regions on both banks of the Prut, to connect our network of roads to the future Union Highway and the future Highway of Moldova. We also want to improve railway connections between Bucharest and Chisinau.

In the long run, we would like a European - gauge railway and we are already working in this direction, but it is also important to take quick, short-term steps and, therefore, I welcome the fact that in just three days, the rail traffic between the two capitals will be resumed, and the Iași-Ungheni trains will be operational again. This is furthermore important as this year was declared by the European Union as the "European Year of Railways". As the pandemic situation allows, we want as many flights as possible to depart from Romania for Chisinau, and not only from Bucharest, taking into account that there is a real potential for other destinations, such as Cluj or Timisoara.  Another important topic for citizens of both countries pertains to mobile phone tariffs. We desire to meet as soon as possible the goal of having similar tariffs for roaming and home network.

At the same time, we want to learn from the experience of the Romanian institutions regarding the implementation of reforms necessary for European integration and, therefore, we intend to intensify the sectoral cooperation, the exchange of good practices and know-how. In this context, and I am glad that we agreed on my proposal to organize a joint Government meeting at the beginning of next year so that we can start working together in all areas. I am fully confident that our ambitious agenda will have a strong start in 2022. There has never been a better time in recent history for our projects to be considered achievable. If we succeed in capitalizing together on Romania's National Recovery and Resilience Plan, together with the Economic Recovery Plan for the Republic of Moldova and the Economic and Investment Plan of the Eastern Partnership, the aforementioned list can be completed with multiple other achievements and projects, on the path towards building a digital, green, innovative and beneficial future for every citizen, a future in which we walk together, in trust, friendship and solidarity. Thank you very much!