Moldova confirms gradual and selective withdrawal from CIS agreements

Moldova confirms gradual and selective withdrawal from CIS agreements
/ bne IntelliNews
By Iulian Ernst in Bucharest April 21, 2023

Moldova is in the process of terminating some agreements signed under the umbrella of the Russia-led Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration confirmed on April 20.

In February, Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu announced that the government is reviewing the dozens of agreements signed under the CIS umbrella and will scrap those that do not serve the country’s interests.

For instance, the Moldovan government approved a bill this week on withdrawing from the agreement on international legal guarantees for the work of the TV and radio company Mir.

The confirmation comes in response to a statement by CIS secretary general Serghei Lebedev who claimed that Moldova is not taking steps to pull out of the organisation.

“Frankly speaking, I am pleased and satisfied that so far no concrete measures have been taken regarding Moldova's withdrawal from the CIS. As far as the denunciation of some agreements and contracts is concerned, we cannot yet cite facts,” said Lebed.

Popescu stressed that many CIS-related agreements will be rejected on the grounds that they are no longer relevant, non-functional or are to Moldova's detriment. Now the objectives of Moldova's foreign policy, according to Popescu, are aligned with the European integration process and, as a priority, the agreements incompatible with Chisinau's foreign policy priorities will be denounced.

While not imposing sanctions on Russia, Moldova has become increasingly oriented towards the EU since the election of President Maia Sandu and her Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS). After Moldova secured EU candidate status in summer 2022, Sandu also hinted Chisinau may lift its military neutrality and seek membership of Nato, which has angered Russian officials. 

Meanwhile, Ukrainian intelligence warned Moldovan officials earlier this year that Russia is planning to destabilise Moldova, and several Russian nationals, including the head of the Tatarstan Republic, have been denied entry to Moldova.