The European Commission recommended on Wednesday the start of accession negotiations with Ukraine, Moldova, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as granting candidate country status to Georgia, according to an EC statement.
“The European Commission recommends to the Council to start accession negotiations with Ukraine,” the EU executive announced in Brussels, also mentioning Moldova.
In the case of Ukraine, the Commission recommends that negotiations begin once Kyiv meets the remaining conditions regarding anti-corruption measures and the strengthening of minority protection standards.
For Moldova, these conditions pertain to anti-corruption efforts and financial regulations improvement.
“Considering the results achieved by Ukraine and Moldova and their ongoing reform efforts, the Commission has recommended to the Council to open accession negotiations with both countries. Additionally, the Commission recommends that the Council adopt the negotiation frameworks after Ukraine and Moldova have taken certain key measures. The Commission is prepared to report to the Council on the progress regarding these measures by March 2024,” Brussels announced.
Maia Sandu: An important day for Moldova’s future
President Maia Sandu reacted to this announcement, stating that it is an ‘important day for Moldova’s future.’
‘This step is a recognition of our collective effort – the state institutions working to transform the country, as well as the citizens who choose peace, democracy, and development. The European Commission’s report confirms that Moldova has undertaken serious reforms in the past year, preparing our country to become a European state and to improve the lives of all citizens,’ she wrote on Facebook.
‘The final decision on initiating negotiations with Moldova will be made by the member states at the European Council meeting on December 14-15. Today’s decision by the European Commission encourages and empowers us to continue the work we have started: to make Moldova stronger, a state that ensures domestic peace, contributes to regional security, and cares for the well-being of its citizens. There is much work ahead. The path we have chosen is full of challenges. Hard work does not deter us, and our goal is for Moldova to be ready to join the EU by 2030. The Republic of Moldova in the European Union is our unique chance to ensure a future of peace, freedom, and prosperity for the entire country,‘ Maia Sandu added.
Russia continues attacks against Moldova’s closeness to the EU
Meanwhile, Russia continues its recent series of statements, indicating its significant concerns about Moldova. The latest statement comes from Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, who suggests that Moldova is at risk of becoming a ‘victim’ of the West because it has ‘chosen the path of EU accession and Romanianization.’
‘The leadership of the Republic of Moldova, under Western pressure and contrary to the will of its people, has chosen the path of EU accession, Romanianization, relinquishing sovereignty, and national identity,’ Patrushev stated during a meeting with counterparts from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) held in Moscow.
‘In fact, Moldova is at risk of becoming another victim of Western colonial policies, carried out blatantly, impudently, and cynically, violating international law and the country’s laws, including the Constitution,’ he continued.
‘While they encourage the crimes of the Kiev regime, turning a blind eye to serious violations of laws and human rights in Moldova, they condemn Russia and Belarus, demand investigations into events in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and arbitrarily impose unilateral restrictive measures,’ Patrushev added.