Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 98

Moldovan prime minister Ion Ciubuc, on his first official visit to Romania, turned down Bucharest’s proposals on a draft interstate treaty. Ciubuc specifically objected to describing the treaty as one of "fraternity," to bilateral relations as "special" and "privileged," and to Moldova as one of "two Romanian states." Moldovan officials further indicated that Bucharest’s proposals obliquely to condemn in the treaty the "consequences" of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact could be interpreted as tracing Moldova’s present statehood to the 1939-1940 events, and are thus unacceptable to Chisinau. Ciubuc stated that the treaty must "proceed from today’s realities," correspond to international standards, and eliminate, not activate potential tensions. He expressed hope that these differences may soon be surmounted.

No progress was made on Romanian proposals for Moldovan participation in financing the construction of the second power bloc of Romania’s nuclear power plant in Cernavoda and on using idle Romanian refineries to process Moldovan-imported crude oil. Chisinau considers these proposals to be financially disadvantageous. The two sides discussed Moldovan access to shipping on the Danube as part of a Moldovan-Ukrainian-Romanian free economic zone in the Danube estuary. (Flux, Basapress, May 16-17)

Moldovan-Romanian negotiations on a good-neighborly relations treaty have marked time since 1991 because of Bucharest’s insistence on a document of a special character. The new Romanian government’s hopes to be admitted to NATO may induce it to recognize unambiguously Moldova’s independent statehood, just as it has recently agreed to recognize the Romanian-Ukrainian border in a bilateral treaty due to be signed shortly. Most of Romania’s political parties have recently endorsed the treaty with Ukraine after having resisted it since 1992.

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