MOLDOVA SEEKS EARLY START OF ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP TALKS WITH EUROPEAN UNION.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 233
In a personal letter just sent to the presidents and prime ministers of all European Union member countries, President Petru Lucinschi appeals for an early start of negotiations toward an agreement on associate membership between the EU and Moldova. Reaffirming Moldova’s aspiration eventually to join the EU as a full member, Lucinschi acknowledges in his letter that the process will be long and complicated, necessitating an early start in the form of associate membership. Describing Moldova as a "constituent part of Europe by virtue of its people’s origin, history, and culture," Lucinschi’s appeal also points to the "stabilizing influence the EU could exert on this tense region" — a reference to the Transdniester conflict. (Basapress, Flux, December 13)
The appeal reflects the president’s faith — which he shares with the native intelligentsia — in Moldova’s European, as distinct from Eastern identity. Transdniester leaders — who are mostly nonnative — take the opposite view. At recent CIS meetings, Lucinschi has argued that membership in the CIS must not be construed as precluding affiliation with the European Union and other Western organizations.
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