Moldova’s Prime Minister Sandu is planning to accept the invitation of her Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, to visit Moscow in September. This was confirmed in an interview with the Russian News Agency TASS. A joint intergovernmental meeting between Moldova and Russia will also take place that month, to discuss the entire spectrum of their bilateral agenda.
In an interview on July 30, Prime Minister Sandu told the Russian News Agency TASS that during her upcoming visit to Moscow, she intends to discuss several topics, including aspects of trade.
“We plan to discuss trade issues, Moldovan citizens living in Russia, the Transnistrian problem, the Russian army positioned in the region, fighting money laundering and collaborating in searching for the money stolen under the previous government,” said Prime Minister Sandu.
During the meeting with her Russian counterpart, she will also discuss the issue of Russian gas: “For us it is important to discuss the supply of natural gas and the pricing policy, especially for next year,” said the Prime Minister, referring to a new contract between Moldovagaz and Russia’s Gazprom that is set to begin in 2020.
Prime Minister Sandu also emphasized that no Moldovan government would agree to the stationing of Russian troops on the territory of the Republic of Moldova. She specified that the presence of Russian troops in the country goes against the laws and the will of the Moldova Government.
Prime Minister Sandu also affirmed that there is no longer a need for military protection in the Transnistrian region and that a civilian monitoring mission would suffice. Negotiations on the Transnistrian Settlement are also set to resume in the 5+2 format this Autumn.
When asked about the deterioration of Moldovan–Russian relations, Prime MInister Sandu blamed the previous government: “The government was not led by Filip, but by Plahotniuc. He did not cooperate with foreign partners in the interests of the state, but based on personal interests.”
At the same time, the Prime Minister was convinced that Plahotniuc would return to Moldova. “We will ensure the independence of the Prosecutor’s Office and the justice system, so Plahotniuc will go to jail,“ she told TASS. “An international warrant will be issued for the arrest of Plahotniuc and those around him and they will be held responsible for the violations [they] committed.”
Prime Minister Sandu also mentioned that the Moldovan Foreign Minister, Nicu Popescu, will visit Moscow ahead of her trip, going earlier in the month of September.
Moldova’s head of state Igor Dodon paid an official visit to Moscow on July 17, to discuss similar issues related to trade, the Transnistrian settlement and tariffs on gas. On July 31, TASS also stated that President Igor Dodon will be returning to Moscow at the end of August to discuss the final decision on gas deliveries.