The European Union and three of Russia’s neighbors signed sweeping trade-and-political agreements Friday, pushing the bloc’s influence eastward but potentially provoking fresh tensions with Moscow.
The deals with Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, which lower trade barriers and promote democratic reforms, were years in the making but faced doubts recently as Moscow stepped up its opposition.
Prime minister Victor Ponta announced on Saturday that he wants Romania to be the first country to ratify these agreements and he warned that Republic of Moldova especially will be subjected to Russian pressures for signing these new accords. Ponta mentioned he already discussed the matter with the Moldovan prime-minister, Iurie Leanca, writes Hotnews.
“As far as I can tell, Moldova especially will have to deal with pressures from russia for a while for the simple fact it has signed this agreement and I think the first country that has the duty to do something, not just talk about it like it has been doing for the past ten years, but actually do something is Romania“, Ponta said.
He has asked the ministers to speed up the procedures of setting up bilateral agreements with Moldova in the following weeks for each of their respective fields.
Moscow has repeatedly signaled that it is willing to make countries in the region pay an economic price for taking steps toward Europe. In September, Russia banned wine from Moldova purportedly over health concerns, a significant problem for a country that depends heavily on agriculture.