Neighboring Romania and Moldova sign agreements to strengthen ties
European Union member Romania and neighboring Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries, signed a series of cooperation agreements following joint government meetings in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau
BUCHAREST, Romania – Romania, a member of the European Union, and neighboring Moldova, one of Europe’s poorest countries, signed a series of cooperation agreements on Friday following joint government meetings in Chisinau , the capital of Moldova.
The agreements included Romania granting Moldova 100 million euros ($114 million) in non-reimbursable aid for development projects. Agreements were reached on strengthening cooperation on investment and energy security, as well as on the fight against corruption and strengthening the rule of law.
“We want to improve the quality of life, especially in rural areas, and these funds can be used for local infrastructure, whether it’s roads, schools or water supply networks,” said said pro-Western Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita. .
In 2014, Moldova – a former Soviet republic of around 3.5 million people – signed an agreement with the EU to forge closer political and economic ties, but widespread corruption and a lack of reforms have hampered Development.
Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said the agreements signed on Friday send “a strong signal of support for improving the business environment in Moldova”.
“I assure you that Romania will continue to be your strong supporter,” Ciuca said.
The governments also agreed to build a new bridge over the Prut River, on their common border, connecting two towns that both bear the name Ungheni.
In January, the European Commission approved micro-financial assistance of 150 million euros ($170 million) to Moldova to help the country’s economy. Some €30 million would be awarded in the form of grants and up to €120 million in the form of medium-term loans.
Last year, the International Monetary Fund approved a $558 million aid package for Moldova; and the Commission announced a 600 million euro ($684 million) economic stimulus deal, conditional on judicial and anti-corruption reforms.