Nicu Popescu: Moldova should tend to EU and avoid conflict with Russia
Moldova should lean towards the European Union and should avoid the conflicts with the Russian Federation. The statement was given to Moldova.ORG by Nicu Popescu, senior research fellow and head of European Council on Foreign Relations’ (ECFR) programme on Russia and Wider Europe.
According to him, the appointment of the new Russian Ambassador to Moldova Farit Mukhametshin won’t bring any significant changes for the country.
“I am not expecting any radical changes. Russia’s interest in the region was always to keep its reach,” Nicu Popescu said.
He added that the bilateral relations with Russia will mostly depend on Moldova’s foreign policy “no matter what the name of the Ambassador in Chisinau is.”
Farit Mukhametshin was appointed as Russia’s Ambassador to Moldova after former diplomat Valeri Kuzmin was recalled.
Russia is planning on creating an Eurasian Union by 2015 and the former Soviet states are invited to join. According to Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat, the Republic of Moldova is not going to join the Eurasian Union “because it has other priorities.” He added that Moldova’s goal at the moment is the European integration.
After the Alliance for European Integration (the ruling coalition) took power in 2009, the Moldovan-Russian relations have weakened, the coalition heading rather West than East.
Being asked to explain why the Moldovans start to get disappointed in the European Union, Nicu Popescu reasoned that by the crisis the EU deals with.
“For almost three years the daily news are full of negative information about Europe. This perception leads to a decrease in perception not only among Moldovans but also among Balkan states where the trust in EU decreased by 10-15%,” the analyst explained.