Chisinau, 11 September /MOLDPRES/- Moldovan Prime Minister Vlad Filat met his Russian counterpart Dmitriy Medvedev in Moscow today, the government's communication and media relations department has reported.
The officials held a face-to-face meeting, followed by an extended meeting of the two countries' delegations. The officials discussed the current ties between the two states and the importance of keeping a positive dynamics of all aspects.
After the meeting the delegations participated in a ceremony of signing a cooperation agreement between the Moldovan and Russian interior ministries, acooperation agreement between the Moldovan and Russian transport and road infrastructure ministries, as well as a regulation on the creation of a commission of Moldovan and Russian historians.
Vlad Filat and Dmitriy Medvedev held a news conference afterwards.
According to the statement Dmitriy Medvedev made for the press, the talks held during the meeting were intense and open.
"We ascertained that our ties have developed in multiple directions. A constant growth of the trade turnover, which stood at two billion dollars last year and exceeded one billion dollars in the first half of this year, has been registered lately. According to preliminary forecasts, by late 2012, the trade turnover between our countries will increase by about 20 per cent against 2011," Medvedev said.
The Russian prime minister said that the economic ties could possibly expand.
"There are rather good growth chances. Investments are not big, but we may boost them. Russian investments amount to hundreds of millions, and Moldovan investments to tens of millions. It is not much, therefore we want to increase them," he said.
Medvedev said that investment projects are a priority for Russia, whereas investments made in Moldova stand at 200 million dollars.
Dmitriy Medvedev said that subjects like the agricultural, energy and IT cooperation were discussed at the meeting too.
"We also discussed regional issues. I was surprised to find out that 50 regions of the Russian Federation had signed cooperation agreements with a similar number of Moldovan regions. This points out a good cooperation between the citizens of our countries. "Russia is interested in helping Moldova be a strong, independent and sovereign country. We are interested in helping Moldova develop as an active territory, and boost the Transnistrian conflict settlement processes. We are open to discuss this subject, which is so important for Moldova s independence and sovereignty."
For his part, Vlad Filat thanked the Russian prime minister for the invitation to visit Russia to discuss a wide range of subjects of great interest for both states.
Filat said that the dynamics of the Moldovan-Russian ties is positive and thanked for the open dialogue and attention paid to bilateral ties.
The prime minister said that the humanitarian aspect of the Moldovan-Russian cooperation was broached during the meeting as well, mentioning yesterday s inauguration of Days of Moldovan Culture in Russia.
"We agreed to hold the 13th issue of the intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation in Chisinau on 15-16 November 2012. The officials will prepare and sign the agreement on migration and readmission within this commission. Moldovan and Russian businessmen will also participate in an economic forum. We are interested in attracting as much investment projects as possible," Vlad Filat said.
As regards the Transnistrian conflict, the prime minister thanked the Russian Federation for its firm position on Moldova's sovereignty and territorial integration. He also said that a settlement of this conflict would improve the life of the Transnistrian citizens.
Dmitriy Medvedev accepted to visit Chisinau at the invitation of his Moldovan counterpart.
According to Medvedev, the officials discussed the traditional issue of Moldovan wine export to Russia.
"Almost 38 per cent of the Moldovan wine production is delivered to Russia, whereas Moldova takes 10 per cent of Russia's foreign wine imports. Though it is a rather good index, we are still coping with some difficulties, despite the fact that those who ship wine meet the conditions. We also discussed the improvement of logistics for the shipment of wine, and gave adequate instructions," Medvedev said.
As regards the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Medvedev said that the participation in any kind of union should be a result of the national interest of the country, as it cannot be imposed. This applies to both the EU and the CIS free trade areas.
"We have never obliged our partners to accept anything. Of course, we want the Customs Union to expand, but it should happen naturally. We will be ready to cooperate, if Moldova is interested in this," Dmitriy Medvedev said.
For his part, Vlad Filat said that the Moldovan wine is Russia's wealth as well.
"Emotions often prevail in the economic ties. We discussed the opening of a new customs terminal in Bryansk to facilitate the shipment of the Moldovan wines to the Russian market. Besides wine, we have favourable conditions to export fruits and vegetables. There should be no barriers to economic processes," Filat said.
Regarding the Customs Union, Vlad Filat said that Moldova is a member of the CIS and signed the free trade agreement between these countries, and the actions taken represent Moldova's interest.
Medvedev said that there are no contradictions, except different views on the signing of a gas supply agreement.
"I forwarded a set of suggestions to our partners and we intensively discussed this project. We expressed all our arguments, including the energy packages. I said that we have good relations with the EU and a wide commercial circuit. We want a free visa regime, albeit we have different visions, including the energy packages issue. Unfortunately, the way they are formulated and implemented runs counter to Russia's and Russian companies interest, including Gazprom. Therefore we are forced to take into account the membership in such organizations, including the participation in the Energy Community. I hope that our Moldovan partners will appreciate the suggestions I made for the future, and will present their own view," Medvedev said.
Filat said that it would have been much easier to discuss this problem in terms of economic cooperation. He also said that it is not a difficult issue, but it needs a complex approach. Vlad Filat mentioned the supply conditions, as well as the situation in this sector in Transnistria.
"It is important for us to discuss and I hope that we will come to a point to agree on the principles and sign the intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the energy sector, which would strengthen the Russian gas supplies, as well as the settlement of the energy problems," Vlad Filat said.