MIL-OSI Europe: MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the state of play of EU-Moldova cooperation – B9-0242/2022

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Source: European Parliament

B9‑0242/2022

European Parliament resolution on the state of play of EU-Moldova cooperation

(2022/2651(RSP))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on the Republic of Moldova,

 having regard to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union,

 having regard to the Association Agreement between the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community and their Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Moldova, of the other part[1], which includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area and which fully entered into force on 1 July 2016,

 having regard to the Joint Statement issued by the Heads of State/Government of the Association Trio – Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine – following the 6th Eastern Partnership Summit on 15 December 2021,

 having regard to the recommendations and activities of the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Association Committee, the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and other representatives of civil society in the Republic of Moldova,

 having regard to the statement of 29 April 2022 by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, on the recent security incidents in the Transnistrian region,

 having regard to the address of the head of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Moldova to the OSCE Permanent Council of 28 April 2022, condemning all attempts to destabilise the situation in Transnistria,

 having regard to the press remarks of the UN Secretary-General of 26 April 2022 on the situation in Transnistria,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas on 3 March 2022 the Republic of Moldova submitted its application to join the European Union and subsequently submitted within just 11 days the first part of its completed EU questionnaire, attesting to the long-standing determination of the Moldovan authorities and a large part of the population to advance Moldova’s European integration;

B. whereas the war in Ukraine has disproportionally affected Moldova’s economy due to lost trade opportunities, higher transportation costs, rapidly increasing food and energy prices fuelling inflation, and the need to deal with a dramatic humanitarian situation brought about by over 440 000 refugees arriving from Ukraine since the start of the renewed Russian aggression;

C. whereas despite these hardships, the Moldovan population has shown incredible solidarity with the refugees coming from Ukraine and a willingness to help them, acting as real European citizens;

D. whereas on 22 April 2022 Major General Rustam Minnekayev, the deputy commander of Russia’s central military district, stated publicly that the goal of Russia’s new offensive in Ukraine is to seize control of southern Ukraine, which would give Russia access to Transnistria; whereas Major General Minnekayev also falsely claimed that acts of oppression of the Russian-speaking population had been observed in Transnistria; whereas the breakaway region of Transnistria is de facto controlled by Russia;

E. whereas in the days following this statement, a number of security incidents took place in the Transnistrian region: on 25 April 2022 a building of the so-called Transnistrian state security ministry in the city of Tiraspol was damaged in a grenade attack, and on 26 April blasts damaged Soviet-era radio masts in the village of Maiac, with the Transnistrian authorities claiming that other security incidents had taken place in the region, including shots reportedly fired towards the village of Cobasna; whereas Cobasna is the location of a very large Soviet-era ammunition depot, which, given that the ammunition has long since expired, poses a grave threat to the security of the people and the environment on both banks of the Dniester river;

F. whereas the head of the breakaway Transnistrian region, Vadim Krasnoselsky, without providing evidence, accused Ukraine of orchestrating the attacks; whereas the Transnistrian authorities have banned men of fighting age from leaving the region and have cancelled a military parade scheduled for 9 May;

G. whereas these incidents have led to a significant increase in the number of requests for Moldovan identity documents from people living in the Transnistria region and in the number of people leaving Transnistria to go to right-bank Moldova or Ukraine;

H. whereas Russia has used its gas exports to Moldova as a tool for advancing the Kremlin’s economic and geopolitical interests in the country, most recently by artificially creating a gas supply crisis in the latter part of 2021;

1. Welcomes the Republic of Moldova’s submission of its application to join the EU as a clear sign of its commitment to European values and to a European future; calls for the EU institutions to grant EU candidate status to Moldova in line with Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union on the basis of merit and taking into account the new political steer principle introduced by the revised enlargement methodology;

2. Is of the opinion that the new clusters around which accession negotiations are organised should make it possible to include the Republic of Moldova in different sectoral policies even before the enlargement process is finalised as a whole and, as such, accelerate, together with the Association Agreement, Moldova’s integration into the EU single market;

3. Underlines that, similarly to Ukraine, the concrete prospect of joining the EU is an essential element of hope that will maintain the morale of the Moldovan population during this period of extreme insecurity and material hardship;

4. Calls on the Commission to start the process of preparing a credible EU pre-accession strategy that it could propose to the Republic of Moldova;

5. Commends Moldova’s impressive efforts in managing the highest influx of refugees per capita among Ukraine’s neighbours; calls for the EU and its Member States to further support these efforts and to quickly increase their financial aid to the Moldovan state and civil society, which strongly mobilised to offer support to the state authorities, with a view to addressing the challenges of the inflow of refugees;

6. Calls on the Commission to suspend import duties on all Moldovan exports to the EU, as a concrete sign of support for and solidarity with efforts made by the Moldovan authorities to support Ukrainian refugees and to address the hit to the Moldovan economy as a result of the war;

7. Calls on the Commission to consider increasing the quotas for Moldovan agricultural products in order to support Moldovan farmers and producers, who have been severely affected by the loss of export markets due to the war in Ukraine;

8. Calls for the EU and other international partners of Moldova to review their support policies, including macro-financial assistance, and to increase their support to Moldova, especially in the form of grants, in order to stabilise Moldova’s socio-economic situation and strengthen the country’s overall resilience; stresses that the Economic Recovery Plan for the Republic of Moldova, worth up to EUR 600 million, is key for Moldova’s recovery;

9. Strongly condemns the recent provocative incidents in the occupied Transnistria region of Moldova, which had a detrimental effect on the security and stability of the country; commends the restrained response of the Moldovan authorities, which helped maintain calm in the country;

10. Expresses its solidarity with the Republic of Moldova and the Moldovan people and reiterates its unwavering support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country;

11. Calls on all actors responsible to refrain from any further provocative actions that would be detrimental to the security and wellbeing of people living on either side of the Dniester river and in the neighbouring countries;

12. Rejects and expresses concern about the statement of 3 March 2022 by the authorities in the Transnistria region announcing an end to the settlement process and making a renewed call for the recognition of the ‘so-called’ independence of Transnistria; reiterates its support for a comprehensive and peaceful settlement of the Transnistria conflict based on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova; underlines that any resolution to the Transnistrian issue must respect the Republic of Moldova’s sovereign right to choose its own defence and foreign policy orientation;

13. Calls on the Russian Federation to fully and unconditionally withdraw its military forces and armaments from the Transnistria region of Moldova, in accordance with the repeated requests of the Moldovan authorities and with respect for the Republic of Moldova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity;

14. Welcomes the Council decision to scale up assistance to the Republic of Moldova under the European Peace Facility; encourages the European External Action Service and the Council to further extend the EU’s areas of cooperation with the Republic of Moldova and support strengthening the capacity of the Moldovan defence and security sectors through further assistance measures;

15. Welcomes the first EU–Republic of Moldova High-Level Political and Security Dialogue, launched in Chișinău on 18 March 2022, and calls for the EU and the Republic of Moldova to make full use of this platform in order to advance cooperation;

16. Stresses that it is unacceptable that Russia is weaponising its gas exports in order to put political pressure on the Republic of Moldova; urges the EU institutions and Member States to include Moldova in the EU’s plans for energy independence from Russia, including potential collective gas purchases, to use emergency funding to swiftly connect Moldova to the EU’s electricity network/grid and to increase EU financial and technical support necessary to ensure Moldova’s resilience to such external pressure;

17. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the President, Government and Parliament of the Republic of Moldova.

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