On 28 June 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Edgars Rinkēvičs, was in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, on a working visit. He met with the President of the Republic of Moldova, Igor Dodon, the newly-elected Speaker of the Parliament, Zinaida Greceanîi, the Prime Minister Maia Sandu, and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Nikolae Popescu, in order to discuss, with the leadership of that Eastern Partnership country, the developments following the parliamentary elections held in February and to express Latvia’s support for further reforms.
In his meeting with the senior Moldovan officials, Edgars Rinkēvičs expressed strong support on the part of Latvia for the course towards integration with the European Union (EU) begun by the country, while drawing attention to the need for the new government to secure support of the entire Moldovan society. “Moldova’s democratically elected institutions should assume responsibility for the main directions of national development, political and economic stability in the country, ensuring the rule of law, continuation of reforms, and sustainable development of the country as a whole,” said Edgars Rinkēvičs.
In the context of the relations between the EU and Moldova, Edgars Rinkēvičs called for taking full advantage of the opportunities offered by EU instruments. “It is important that the European Union continue cooperation with Moldova, supporting in particular the non-governmental organisations and civil society. We will continue providing support for the Eastern Partnership policy as one of the priorities of the European Union’s common foreign policy after 2020. Thus, Moldova must remain firm in pursuit of its reforms and the fulfilment of the Association Agreement, for only by doing so can we keep the Eastern Partnership policy high on the agenda of the European Union’s priorities,” the Latvian Foreign Minister noted.
The parties also discussed the state of affairs in Transnistria. The Minister expressed Latvia’s support for the resolution of the protracted conflict through a peaceful dialogue and with respect for Moldova’s internationally recognised borders. Edgars Rinkēvičs underlined that significant progress had been achieved over the past year and a half in the “5+2” negotiations with participation of representatives from Moldova, Transnistria, Ukraine, Russia, the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe, the EU, and the US. The conflict settlement issues should be approached through that dialogue while taking opinions of all stakeholders into account.
The officials also shared opinions on the bilateral relations between the two countries that can be rated as good. A positive upward trend is observed in economic relations, too. “Latvia has been offering assistance to Moldova as part of development cooperation since 2005. The dialogue between the states also continued in 2018, albeit with lesser intensity. Therefore, I propose to hold a meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission in Riga. Latvia sees prospects for developing cooperation in the transport sector and would consider possibilities for resuming direct flights, as well as promoting cooperation between Latvian and Moldovan state-owned railway companies. Moldova is also an important market for Latvian pharmaceutical and food industries. In association with other donors, Latvia will continue investing in the young Moldovan professionals from the public administration and civil society sectors,” stressed Edgars Rinkēvičs.