Moldovan pro-European forces assume European way with very much courage, resolution, Romania's Ambassador to Moldova says
16:52 | 27.03.2023 Category: Interview, Event
Romania’s Ambassador to Moldova Cristian-Leon Turcanu has given an interview given exclusively with the MOLDPRES State News Agency on up-to-date subjects, bilateral relations, investments, security and infrastructure.
MOLDPRES: Mr. Ambassador, which is the Moldovan-Romanian bilateral agenda for this year: high-level visits/meetings or joint parliament meetings? What new possibilities this cooperation might bring at the political and economic levels?
Cristian-Leon Turcanu: The bilateral agenda for this year is even more dynamic than it was in 2023, which is very good. The political, diplomatic contacts, the rhythmicity with which they take place show the quality and the high level of the relations between Chisinau and Bucharest. On this period, the pro-European forces from Moldova assumed this European way for the citizens from this bank of the Prut river with very much courage and resolution. We started the year quite actively. Mr. Prime Minister Dorin Recean went to Bucharest and Prime Minister of Romania Nicolae Ciuca paid a visit to Chisinau. Certainly, we will have many other visits at the level of ministers, directors of institutes and agencies. A joint meeting of the parliaments of Moldova and Romania, as well as a meeting of the two governments are to take place. In the economic sector, the bilateral work is quite active. These meetings will give the impetus needed, as well as positive signals, which will encourage economic operators to have even closer contacts. There is the Associations of Investors from Romania in Moldova, which is very active and brings together the biggest companies from Romania, which are present here. A quite important business forum took place in Chisinau in the beginning of this year, under the auspices of the Royal Family of Romania, which was held with the support of the Romanian Embassy in Chisinau.
MOLDPRES: At present, Moldova holds reserves of gas; a part of them are stocked in Ukraine and another part - in Romania. Which is the capacity of transit, I mean of the Iasi-Ungheni-Chisinau gas pipeline, and the capacity of depositing in Romania?
Cristian-Leon Turcanu: The set capacity of the Iasi-Ungheni-Chisinau gas pipeline is of 1.5 billion cubic metres of gas per year, which, objectively, does not fully cover the need of natural gas for the entire territory of Moldova. The European energy crisis triggered by Russia’s brutal and illegal war against Ukraine highlighted the need of the existence of capacities of stocking natural gas, which are to become operational when there are failures in the rhythmic supply with such energy resources. In this context, Romania is one of the fewest European Union countries to hold capacities of depositing natural gas. Presently, about 3.9 billion cubic metres can be stored in warehouses from Romania, at a consumption of more than 11 billion cubic metres annually. A part of these capacities were allocated by the Romanian state for Moldova and I am sure that there will be this availability of support in continuation.
MOLDPRES: In the end of the last year, disconnections of power supply or cases of decrease in the quantities of electricity imported were recorded because of the Russian bombardments against the Ukrainian energy infrastructure. At the same time, there were physical limitings as regards the quality of energy which can be transported through Romania. Is there presently a project which provides for the creation of other interconnections with Romania, the construction of new power lines?
Cristian-Leon Turcanu: There are two projects; one of them is already underway, while the other will be launched soon. Both are priorities both for the Bucharest and the Chisinau governments. It is about the high-tension power line Suceava-Balti, which is a particularly important project for both countries. At the same time, the Vulcanesti-Chisinau line is under construction. These two power lines, once finished, are to contribute essentially to the increase in the capacity of transport of electricity from Romania to Moldova. Their construction will provide safety to the citizens as to the free access to electricity from Europe.
MOLDPRES: Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Moldova’s air space was overflown by missiles. Some of their component parts fell down nearby the Moldovan-Ukrainian border. What mechanisms might Moldova enforce for the protection of its territory, with the support or providing of expertise needed on behalf of the Romanian authorities?
Cristian-Leon Turcanu: The Moldovan pro-European governance has among its top priorities the ensuring of security for the citizens. This means the modernization of its armed forces, which is a particularly important subject for Defence Minister Anatolie Nosatii and the entire government from Chisinau. This modernization is absolutely necessary in the regional security context, given that there is a war at the borders of our countries. Also, another priority is the modernization and development of the capacities of the forces subordinated to the Interior Ministry. These are the most important components, which can provide the security of the state and the citizens. All these reforms are made with the support of Romania, the one of the European Union and international partners of Moldova, who want the country to be able to ensure a stable and safe climate for its citizens. There is a string of mechanisms meant to ensure the financing of projects on the endowment or joint trainings, a variety of measures meant to back the priorities established by the Moldovan authorities.
MOLDPRES: A topical problem remains the movement of goods. Thus, on diverse periods, the TIR vehicles are standing for days, in order to cross the border with Romania. New joint crossing points are to be created at the Moldovan-Romanian border. When could we see palpable results in this respect?
Cristian-Leon Turcanu: This is an important subject both for Bucharest and for Chisinau. On the one hand, it is about the transport of goods from Ukraine to the West, as well as the movement of citizens who want to travel. Both the Romanian government and the Moldovan one made constant efforts to overcome this situation. It is not easy, as it about staff and modernization of the current structures at the border crossing points. There is also a project on the coordinated control at the border crossing points. There are more measures which, once fulfilled, we will together be able to overcome and facilitate the process of transiting the state border. The authorities from both banks of Prut work together, in order to improve the situation at the border.
MOLDPRES: Mr. Ambassador Cristian-Leon Turcanu, thank you for the kindness to give this interview with our agency.