Strange Foreign Standards of Moldova’s Borders / News / News agency Inforos
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Strange Foreign Standards of Moldova’s Borders

The Parliament of Moldova has adopted at first reading a bill on state boundary

04.08.2011 12:08 I.Letyaga

Strange Foreign Standards of Moldova’s Borders
The Parliament of Moldova has adopted at first reading a bill on state boundary, which tightens requirements for entry into the Republic of Moldova (RM) for foreigners. The bill does not formulate exactly to citizens of what countries the new terms apply. However, there is a list of documents to be shown when crossing the Moldovan border depending on the type of trip. True, this is subject to the condition that at the final reading the bill is adopted without change.
Depending on whether this is a private, tourist or business trip, the Moldovan border may require an invitation from the organization or individual, a travel voucher, hotel reservation, a return ticket, a program of activities the foreign citizen is going to participate in. Notable in the new bill was an article stating that people who do not have a Moldovan visa, have to leave a 300 Euro deposit to stay in Moldova for a period of up to 10 days. Obviously, in the near future the RM border crossing will be charged a fee.

The scandalous news that Moldova intends to tighten the rules for entry to the country raised eyebrows among experts. According to some reports, 60% of visitors to Moldova are citizens of CIS countries.

In Ukraine, the new regulations on Moldovan border were considered an attempt to undermine the rights of Ukrainian citizens. The head of the subcommittee on cooperation with the CIS Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs Aleksey Logvinenko said that he hoped that Ukraine would immediately react. Besides, according to Logvinenko, the reaction should be mirrored.

On the part of Russia, Vladimir Zharikhin, Deputy Director of the CIS Institute and Mikhail Remizov, General Manager of the Center for Political Conjuncture, expressed themselves in favour of the symmetry of relations with Moldova. "If that happens, it will impose too great a strain not only on individuals, but on the Moldovan economy in the whole," said the experts.

It is known that only this May, Moldovan migrant laborers working in Russia transferred $118 million to Moldova. As a comparison: in 2011, the European Union pledges financial assistance to Moldova in the amount of 100 million euros. That is, for 1 month Moldovan guest workers transfer from Russia an amount approximately equal to that of annual aid from the EU to RM.

It is quite clear that Moldovans clutched their heads, when the scandal around the bill on the border began to gain momentum. Of course! If Russia introduces strict response entry requirements for citizens of the RM, what then to do with a huge army rendered idle?

In Moldova itself there have not been enough jobs and adequate wages of a long time. And Europe is unlikely to be delighted, if Moldovans flood through Romania seeking a better life. European countries hardly need such a quantity of builders, nurses, nannies, gardeners, and laborers.

To make matters worse, if Ukraine also introduces restrictions, though its labor market is less capacious than the Russian one, it is not impossible that a humanitarian catastrophe breaks out in Moldova.

According to some reports, the drafter is the Border Guard Service of the Republic of Moldova, which is going to be transformed into the border police. But even if the Moldovan Border Guards proposed a not very good bill, one question still remains undetermined - why have parliamentarians approved it in the first reading? "No parliamentary party said to be the author of this controversial document, but even so the deputies passed it in the first reading. This leads to some reflections," said the Moldovan analyst Bogdan Tardea in his interview.

There is an opinion that the bill and its enactment were consequences of pressure by some Western circles, which benefit from the deterioration of relations, especially between the RM and RF.

"Local leaders decided to gain favor with their Western patrons, to show zeal and overshoot the mark," says Bogdan Tardea. According to him, it is no wonder if the current government in Moldova passes the controversial bill after all.

The event of the appearance of the document with a list of new regulations of the Moldovan border crossing by foreign citizens should be considered in the context of not only domestic but also foreign policy situation around Moldova. First of all, consideration must be paid to the relationship between Moldova and NATO.

There are meetings held in the format "28 +1", in which representatives of the Alliance member states meet with representatives of the RM, and the Minister of Defence of Moldova declares that participation in military blocks means supporting partners. In Moldova, the Information Center of NATO acts, military reforms and rearmament of the Moldovan army according to NATO standards are being carried out.

As follows from the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) Republic of Moldova – NATO, Moldova conducts "a gradual reorganization of all units of the national army in accordance with the structure of NATO, develops training programs in accordance with the standards of the North Atlantic Alliance for the national army servicemen, as well as a schedule of these standards implementation into educational programs and military course."

Joint exercises with NATO are carried out in Moldova as well. Today, Moldovan peacekeepers forming part of the peacekeeping force in Transnistria, are being aligned to NATO requirements. Population is being persuaded that NATO is good for Moldova, and if someone doubts, let him think that the way to EU membership is through the Alliance. It was even decided to wean Moldovan soldiers from the Soviet parade step, which turned out to be bad for Moldovan citizens’ health. The presence of NATO advisers in the Moldovan corridors of power is not uncommon either. Moldova’s leadership pursues a policy of integration into Euro-Atlantic and European structures, doing it at the same time at the expense of deterioration of relations with CIS countries and in the first place, with Russia.

The Moldovan authorities go beyond the attempts to introduce visa regime with the CIS countries. Long ago citizens of Russia and Ukraine, as well as other countries nationals residing in Transnistria, have reported of the violation of their rights in Moldova.

There were several complaints, particularly to the Allied Control Commission, about the fact that the Moldovan authorities withdraw Russian and Ukrainian passports from citizens of Transnistria, force them to pay fines, threaten. This behavior is unlikely to contribute to the improvement of relations between the RM and the CIS countries. Some experts seriously believe that in a similar manner Moldova reconnoiters the ground to find out to what extent Russia or Ukraine are ready to defend their citizens and what methods can be applied. Quite possible that the Moldovan controversial bill was provocation on the part of the West in order to, as they say, ‘remove reaction’ from Russia, Ukraine and other countries and make recommendations on follow-up actions for the future. Curiosity seems to overcome not only Chisinau, but also Brussels and Washington. As the issue of narrowing Russia’s spheres of influence in the post-Soviet area is still relevant for the United States and the European Union.
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