Negotiations behind Ukraine: agreement between Moldova and Russia?

Author : Yuriy Panchenko

Moldova and Russia signed an action plan to restore trade relations, and the Kremlin is ready to use and "trade cake"
23:14, 8 December 2016

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Last week, Moldova and Russia signed an action plan to restore trade relations. For Ukraine, it is important: the Kremlin is ready to use a"trade cake." Including arguments of supporters of the restoration of economic cooperation with Russia, which have intensified recently. And, of course, Moldovan experience is also a signal to Ukraine. But not all the signal was the way he would like to present the Kremlin.

So what have Moldova and Russia signed?

Related: Ukraine is in minority: Georgia and Moldova thaw in relations with Moscow

The text signed in Moscow "Action Plan for the development of Russian-Moldovan trade and economic relations for 2016-2017 years" was released Moldovan portal Newsmaker. Since the document is followed by two conclusions.

First, free trade with the EU (and it is identical to Moldova and Ukraine) is not contrary to free trade with the CIS countries. Despite all the statements made by Russians.

It is worth recalling that the past year was accompanied by numerous statements of the Russian government about the incompatibility of the FTA, and efforts of the EU and Ukraine in tripartite negotiations prove that the two trade regimes do not contradict each other.

Then Russia stubbornly ignored all the arguments, and is now in a similar situation, suddenly discovered common sense.

Related: Russia “allows” Moldova to trade with EU

What are the obligations of Moldova took over in exchange for a "sudden enlightenment" Russia?

Members recognize last year's trilateral talks - a new Russian-Moldovan document there is nothing that was not ready to sign Ukraine. We were also prepared to guarantee that the FTA with the EU is not directed against Russian industry promptly share information on possible violations etc...

Does this mean that Moldovan negotiators were more professional than Ukrainian? Not at all.

Second conclusion: Moldova and Russia signed the document contains no specifics.

Related: Moldova to keep Euro integration course, continue to improve relations with Russia

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This is its main difference from the deal, which was going to sign the Ukraine and the EU and Russia. Knowing the Russian customs Ukrainian negotiators tried to clearly define all obligations of the parties.

In this case - the reverse situation. Russia only committed to "continue to examine the possibility of lifting the restrictive measures" Export from Moldova.

Kishinev same, although not undertakes to coordinate all steps of transition to EU standards on ensuring food quality (this plan maximum Kremlin is able to completely block the European integration of the country), but promises to "provide the worsening conditions of access of Russian agricultural and food products the market of Moldova."

Last norm - a very ambiguous and it can be interpreted in Russia is most convenient for them form.

With concrete - Moldova agreed that all the bilateral commission will be attended by representatives of Transdniestria and Gagauzia (which is consistent with the ideology of the Kremlin, as has another effort on subjectivity Government of Moldova in international trade). Chisinau also agreed to develop export sea route to Russia, bypassing Ukraine (known to Kyiv in 1998 still gave Moldova 400 meters to the Danube bank building Giurgiulesti port, Moldova became as a sea power).

Related: Moldova not to extend duties on Ukrainian products in 2017

In a situation where the contract spelled out clearly, there is always the chance that the most important agreements made in a separate document. Is it in this case? Did Moldova assume the additional responsibilities?

In particular, we are particularly interested in whether it was in talks between Moldova and the Russian Federation on additional duties imposed by Chisinau against Ukrainian exports. These duties take effect in the spring of this year and are valid until 31 December.

Their first introduction informally called "request to Moscow." However, no official confirmation of this.

Currently, the Moldovan government promises that force protection measures will be extended and duties will become invalid from 1 January 2017. However, before they promised early abolition of these restrictions, which never happened.

Related: Elections in Moldova: Pro-Russian candidate wins first round

That is why on Jan. 1 will be the moment of truth in relations between Kyiv and Chisinau. If Moldova, contrary to promises, extend the protective measures, the rumors about "friendship with Russia against Ukraine" confirmed.

Let us hope that this is not true and that our trade relations with Moldova will continue to develop without such conflicts.

At the same time Ukraine should have a "plan B" for example, pre-generate and publish a list of restrictions, which may take effect if the Chisinau would keep no promises.

However, we believe its neighbors on the floor.

Related: European competition of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia

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