Igor Dodon: We will cancel the sanctions and prohibitions of the media in relation to Russia

From the edition

A Victory on elections of the President of Moldova was won by the leader of the party of socialists of Moldova Igor Dodon. The staff of “a New Land” this event is interesting not only because he is called the “man of the Russian World”. Dodon, among other things – is a member of the Izborsk club. Therefore, we present his interview for the portal RuBaltic.Ru

– Igor Nikolayevich, you talked about plans to revive agriculture and to export agricultural products to Russia. Russia a few years ago declared a policy of import substitution and actively it should. Do you think that in such conditions, the Moldovan products will be in demand in Russia?

– I think that, given the volume of the market of the Russian Federation, the Moldovan producers will find their place. Moreover, to make a substitution for all commodity items, this will not work. Therefore, based on the experience of our trade relations, which were before all of these problems (in relations between Russia and Moldova), I think that we can do it all. I hope in the coming months we will be able to resume the export of our products to the Russian market.

– You also repeatedly mention that you are going to develop relations with the Eurasian economic Union. Could you clarify in what formats expect cooperation?

– Moldova now operates an Association Agreement with the European Union. The President may not cancel this agreement because it was accepted by the parliamentary majority. Now we haven’t a parliamentary majority. But this will not prevent us to start cooperation with the Eurasian economic Union. For example, at least we can sign a Memorandum of cooperation. This is the first step.
We must continue to seek a complete change of government in Moldova and to conduct a referendum in which the people must speak out.
President Nicolae Timofti has supported European sanctions against Russia.  Russian journalists and experts have been repeatedly detained in Moldova. They were not allowed into the country, exiled. The filming crews were detained in the Chisinau airport; broadcasting was prohibited. Do you plan to change this policy?

– I am categorically against the policy of sanctions. I believe that Moldova is in any case should not support any sanctions against Russia, nor against other states. I spoke strongly against the closure of the channel “Russia 24” in Moldova. I spoke repeatedly in Parliament, and publicly with the official’s call to give the opportunity to all media agencies, Russian and Western, to broadcast on the territory of Moldova. So of course, we will change the policy of the state in this regard. Everyone who wants can come. We need to give the possibility to Moldovan citizens to watch any channels. Let them choose what they want to watch.

– You know that the European partners surely will take cool a similar course in relation to Russia? Are you ready for this?

– I understand that it will not be easy. I’ve seen it all. But I am sure that we will survive because we have no other choice. Moldova should remain an independent neutral state. And solving most of the socio-economic problems is only possible with a strategic partnership with the Russian Federation.

– Are you not afraid that because of your position in the Crimea you can become a sort of outcast among European leaders and not shaken-hands figure in Brussels?

– I’m a pragmatist. I am a proponent of the pragmatic approach and position. I think everyone understands that the de facto the Crimea is Russian. Yes, de jure it is not recognized by the West. But de facto it has become Russian. It is recognized by different leaders of the States – the Czech President Milos Zeman, for example. The President-elect Trump has repeatedly expressed in that spirit. We must build good relations with Ukraine, they are our neighbors. And we will build normal relations.

– On the elections you said that you will fight against corruption and oligarchs. Do you have enough powers and resources to deal with the same Vladimir Plahotniuc, whom the West called the “owner” of Moldova?

– Victory in the presidential election is very important, but it is only an intermediate victory. We need to make early parliamentary elections, win them and then completely change the situation in the country. Otherwise fight against corruption and oligarchy will be very hard.

– Your opponent in the election Maia Sandu said that she was going to challenge your victory in court. What can you answer on it?

– My opponents have to muster the political wisdom and acknowledge losing the election. They should take their cue from their teachers, with those who supported them. For example, it’s from Hillary Clinton, who acknowledged that she lost the election in the United States. But the lack of political experience does not allow taking such right decisions. Therefore, attempts to contest the elections will be, of course, and in the constitutional court and in other courts – but it may lead to nothing, because the elections were open and honest. They have recognized by the OSCE and by the majority of other international structures.

– What are you going to do with the Association Agreement with the EU? Do I understand correctly that you want to cancel it?

– To cancel the Association Agreement with the EU at this stage we will not do. It is the mandate of the parliamentary majority, and we have not it, as I said, not yet. The President cannot repeal it.
Therefore, at this stage we must do everything possible to have good partnership relations with the European Union, but urgently will resume relations with the Russian Federation.

– Prime Minister of Moldova Pavel Filip said that the provisions of the Association Agreement with the EU are for Moldova’s irreversible. Is he right?

– There is nothing irreversible in life and in history. We need to look very carefully all pros and cons, and if it needs to make adjustments in the interests of the Moldovan people, we make them.

– You say that will at the same time to develop relations with the European Union and the Eurasian economic Union. Don’t you see certain political risks in this position? It’s especially given the sad Ukrainian experience. Yanukovych was accused that he also tried “to sit on two seats”.

– We now have no other choice. The Association agreement is valid. To cancel it the President has no powers. Therefore, we must proceed from reality, which is happening now. We will resume strategic partnership with Russia, even while maintaining Euro-Association. At this stage, I think it’s possible.

– Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, recently said that without urgent reform of the European project because of the crises could fail. What do you think about this? Do you believe that the EU is able to overcome the crisis?

– The European Union is faced with very many challenges. I believe that in current form it probably is not saved. Of course, you need to change something. I’m pretty sure that the European Union is not ready to expand.

Therefore, those, who say that Moldova will become an EU member, or do not understand reality, or they are dreamers.

This will not happen for at least the next 10 years. A few years later, I believe, the EU will be different.
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