U., opinion polls show, and politicians say they want to maintain relations with Russia as well. We believe that our relationship with Russia should be developed with the respect of sovereignty.Overall, 26 percent of Moldova’s exports go to Russia and 47 percent to the E. Our interest is one thing — to develop Moldova,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Iulian Groza.
Russia hopes to minimize the “negative impacts” of Moldova’s new E. ties, Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said during a visit to Chisinau this month.
In Moldova, some in business say that the Russian threats are an impetus for them to modernize in a way they never needed to after the Soviet Union’s breakup.
Many officials also worry that pro-Russian separatist movements will be energized in breakaway regions of this nation of 3.6 million people.
Russia’s threats have hardly been subtle: After a visit in May to the pro-Russian breakaway region of Transnistria, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin threatened to return in a plane armed with nuclear weaponry after his official jet had difficulty securing airspace permissions for his return flight.
As Russian troops seized Ukraine’s autonomous Crimea region, there were concerns that they could roll forward. Then it turned its attention to Ukraine, where President Viktor Yanukovych in November reversed course on plans to sign the agreement.
Officials in Chisinau say they expect newly vigorous agitation from Transnistria, a Soviet throwback where a massive granite statue of Lenin stands in front of the main government building and a hammer and sickle adorn the flag. As of mid-April, Moldovans can travel visa-free to the E. Transnistria residents who have Moldovan passports also will benefit. That set off pro-European protests in Kiev and led to Yanukovych’s ouster in February.“If Russia were going very well, there wouldn’t have been a logical need to change anything,” said wine producer Sergiu Galusca, who hopes to find customers for the high-quality wines he aspires to sell in the West.In Moldova we focus on creating an environment that supports private sector activity, promoting European standards across sectors and regional integration to bring domestic producers closer to their markets, as well as developing efficient and sustainable public utilities which have a direct impact on people’s lives.So, he said, “there are advantages and disadvantages” to being a member of the Russia-dominated Commonwealth of Independent States, an association of former Soviet republics.The Moldovan public is evenly split in its support for building ties with the E.With some of those states planning to sign a landmark deal Friday that will draw them closer to the European Union, the Kremlin is beaming out urgent warnings about the consequences.