Iurie Leanca, who has been prime minister of the Republic of Moldova since the end of May, spoke to euronews in Brussels.
euronews: “Prime minister, welcome to euronews. What are the priorities of your government?”
Iurie Leanca: :Very briefly we have basically three pillars of our future activities. The first is job creation. Job creation means many things, first of all is to improve our business environment, to make sure that the pressure from the various bodies on the business is decreasing and the business feels a new environment. The second objective is fighting corruption. Corruption unfortunately has spread into Moldovan society effecting the functionality of our institution, the national security if you want, in various sectors, banking or economic. So we need to make sure that we are able to address the corruption in a systemic way. And of course the third pillar is our European agenda. European agenda means firstly that we will focus on this fundamental objective of our foreign and domestic policy which means European integration of the Republic of Moldova.”
euronews: “Are you getting support from Brussels, from the Commission, from the European Union?”
Iurie Leanca: In order to be successful we need, as you rightly mentioned, the support from the EU and its various institutions because this is not just about money, it is about the political support which we receive but which, helpfully, could be increased, it’s about the transfer of know-how, of expertise and experience. And we have reached already an excellent cooperation and a non-precedented cooperation with the European Union but of course we can improve it in various fields.
euronews: “What do you expect from the summit on Eastern Partnership which is taking place in November in Vilnius?”
Iurie Leanca: “We hope in the first place to be able to achieve a new level of cooperation between, in our case, the Republic of Moldova and the European Union, to rethink about the future of this relationship because we are convinced that Moldova, being a European country, by virtue of its geography, its history, by the fact that our language is already an official language in the European Union, that we want to share the same aspirations. We wish that our European future should be acknowledged.”
“Of course we also hope to initial the Association Agreement and its integral part, the Agreement on Free Trade Zone with the European Union, which will mark a completely new era in our relationship but also new perspectives for the Moldovan economy, for the Moldovan political system. By the way, I want to mention with a deep satisfaction that just yesterday we basically finalised the negotiations on the Free Trade Area and a bit earlier on the Association Agreement so that now we should focus on its initial again in the future to sign. And of course I also hope that in November the Commission will be in a position to inform the member states that Moldova meets the so-called benchmarks, that Moldova has fulfilled the conditionalities on the Action Plan on visas so that in the future hopefully the member states will make a decision on lifting the visa regime for Moldovan citizens.”
euronews: “Let’s talk about a sensitive issue in your country: How are you going to solve the problem with Transnistria?”
Iurie Leanca: “Unfortunately in the last few weeks we have seen some provocative decisions taken by the so called leadership in Tiraspol. But I’m sure that they will see that there is now a stable government, a stable and functioning parliament and they will take seriously our offer to be further engaged. I think that the ultimate response to the conflict and the solution will be exactly now the European integration process. Because what does it mean: It means that we will make accountable institutions following the same practices and values which exist already in the EU.”
euronews: “Do you feel some pressure coming from Russia?”
Iurie Leanca: “You mentioned Transnistra and yes we still have certain problems here, certain differences. But only through dialogue, through presenting our arguments hopefully we will be able to narrow this difference. We still have a problem with the presence of Russian very obsolete munitions. No one needs those munitions. I’m sure again through dialogue we will be able to get sooner rather than later to the destruction of these munitions. Again, problems exist but that’s why we have them, having the political will and having the will to find solutions.”
euronews: “Do you hope that your country will become a member of NATO sooner or later?”
Iurie Leanca: “According to the Constitution, Moldova is a neutral country and there are members of the EU which are either neutral countries or countries outside of the military blocks. I think that Moldova can basically follow this path by staying, by keeping, its neutrality. But in order to become a real neutral state we need to make sure that there are no foreign troops on our soil and that we have all the internal but also the external conditions in order to become a real neutrality. But a neutrality is not a barrier, is not an impediment to foster the relationship with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.”