In an interview with Radio Moldova, the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, expressed optimism that her country could become a member of the European Union by 2030. However, she emphasized that this process might involve a “two-step” approach, with the first stage excluding the separatist region of Transnistria, controlled by Russia.
The President highlighted the importance of integration with the Transnistrian region and mentioned that it already benefits from certain elements of approximation to the EU, including the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement. Regarding the Transnistrian conflict, Maia Sandu stated that she is working on a political resolution but rejected the idea that EU accession should be conditioned on resolving this conflict.
“We cannot frame the issue in a way that the Republic of Moldova becomes a member of the EU only after the resolution of the Transnistrian conflict because that would mean giving the Kremlin a veto over the European integration process of the Republic of Moldova. We are also working on the Transnistrian conflict issue, but we do not turn it into an obstacle, and, first of all, Brussels says this, which is very important,” said the president.
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Maia Sandu mentioned that, in the worst case, European integration could occur in two stages – first on the right bank and then on the left bank of the Dniester River. She emphasized that improving living standards and conditions in one part of the country could influence the decision of other residents on the left bank.
In conclusion, the President of the Republic of Moldova expressed hope that in December, the European Council would approve the start of accession negotiations for her country and Ukraine to the EU, considering the progress made and the fulfillment of 92% of the recommendations made when granting candidate status.