24-25 February 2015. Klaus Iohannis pays an official visit to Chisinau
15:26 | 08.02.2021
Category: REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA: THREE DECADES OF INDEPENDENCE.
Retrospective of events
Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis paid a visit to Moldova on 24 February 2015, at an invitation by his Moldovan counterpart Nicolae Timofti.
This visit was practically announced back on the period of the elections, when the staff of Iohannis at a news conference informed that he would pay his first visit abroad to Moldova.
The presidential polls in Romania from November 2014 were dynamic and with spectacular changes of situations. After the first round of the ballot, candidate Victor Ponta had a comfortable advance of 10 per cent and it seemed that nothing could change the situation. Yet, in the runoff, an unprecedented mobilization of the pro-Iohannis electorate took place and he gained a clear-cut victory with the score of 56.56 per cent to 45.56 per cent.
Nevertheless, the visit to Chisinau could not be organized immediately after the swearing in office of the new Romanian head of state. Parliamentary elections were held in Moldova in late 2014 and the new Gaburici government was sworn in office as late as on 18 February 2015.
The visit took place on 24 and 25 February and had a comprehensive and quite well calculated agenda.
In Moldova’s capital, Klaus Iohannis had a long discussion with his counterpart Nicolae Timofti. The national media at that time said that the discussions had had a cordial character and were focused on Romania’s role in the process of Moldova’s European integration. Klaus Iohannis firmly promised that, in the discussions with western chancelleries, he would tackle issues on Moldova’s European integration and would promote the need of a substantial support for the reforms in the country. The sides also brought for discussion the bilateral economic relations in full growth, as well as other aspects of the Moldovan-Romanian relations.
During the visit, Klaus Iohannis also had meetings with Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici and Parliament Speaker Andrian Candu. Discussions with the leaders of the parliamentary parties took place afterwards.
The Chisinau mass media could learn more about the visions of the Romanian head of state from his speech given in front of students of the Moldovan State University. Next are just some of the fragments of this programmatic speech and full of pragmatism, which fully characterizes Iohannis:
"I want to refer to two fundamental values which govern the relation between us: solidarity and identity. And I sum up these two notions, interdependent in our case, through the European project assumed by Moldova in relation with Romania. The cooperation between us proves how important is to have an advocate on this way. Moldova has a great chance which we did not have at the moment of accession. This chance is called Romania, a full-fledged member of the European Union, presently the most redoubtable supporter of Moldova in the integration process,’’ the Romanian president said.
In continuation, Klaus Iohannis touched upon the things which unite the two countries and define them as part of the European civilization. At the same time, he positively appreciated the efforts of Moldovan governments, which had made concrete steps in the integration process.
"In the last years, you have made important efforts for rapprochement with the European Union. Moldova managed to fully fructify the status of member of the Eastern Partnership, getting the cancellation of visas for the Moldovan citizens and the signing, along with Ukraine and Georgia, of the Association Agreement with the European Union, including the component of changes’ liberalization. These are resolute steps for the integration, but they are not enough. Therefore, the efforts must continue,’’ Iohannis stressed in his speech.
The president of Romania also referred to the complicated regional context, taking into account the Russian-Ukrainian relations, from the viewpoint of Crimea’s annexation and the Donbas war and the need to strengthen Moldova’s statehood. The Romanian head of state said that ‘’we experience troubled times, even at our borders, a prospect which complicates even more Moldova’s endeavours…. In the present regional context, marked by instability, Romania’s duty is to contribute to the guaranteeing of Moldova’s European prospect. For us, the support provided to Moldova does not boil down only to the institutional one. It is about a deepening of the cooperation in all sectors, of the economic relations, cultural and political dialogue not only at the state level, but also between local communities. Also, we should back the projects which lead to the enhancement of Moldova’s energy independence, so that this state becomes independent up to the end,’’ Klaus Iohannis noted.
Iohannis reminded the difficult and contradictory process through which Romania had gone in its European integration process, noting that only the consolidation of all political forces and of the civil society had allowed a good carrying out of the events. ‘’One cannot edify anything sustainable without political stability, without consensus, especially without a major project assumed by the state’s decision-makers. The institutions work and produce concrete and constant results during time, only if there is peace, perseverance and patience, if there is a predictable way and enough will to succeed. I am sure that the history of this country will be written with much hard work in the years to come; yet, the fate of the state is given namely by the courage of the citizens to assume important goals,’’ the Romanian head of state said, in the applauses of those present at the meeting at the Moldovan State University.
In the end, Klaus Iohannis expressed confidence that Moldova’s efforts would not be in vain. The consistent continuation of the reforms, cooperation between the pro-European political forces and involvement of the civil society are compulsory conditions for the achievement of the courageous objective we have assumed.
Unfortunately, not at all simple times followed in Moldova. The fragmentation of the pro-European political spectrum, the robbing of the banking system, the crisis of justice and the complicated international context essentially diminished the pace of reforms and our reliability in EU. Against this background, the visit by Klaus Iohannis to Moldova in February 2015 and his speech at the Moldovan State University proves that the Romanian head of state tackled the subjects discussed in Chisinau with much far-sightedness and good-will. Unfortunately, the evolution of the events in Moldova was not marked by cohesion and coherence and the goals set at that time remain unachieved. Anyway, the visit to Moldova by Klaus Iohannis fit into a string of international contacts of great prestige for Moldova and represented a live evidence of the neighbour country to help us on our road towards a free and prosperous state.
Chisinau, 4 February /MOLDPRES/.