Each of the 20 years of independence in Moldova has its meaning and role in what happened in the period and, undoubtedly, in what is going to happen in the country and the people’s lives in the future. Info-Prim Neo asked politicians, analysts, experts and personalities from different areas to pronounce on the main events that took place during a certain year and assess their impact on the country.
The year 1999 as seen by Victor Chirila, executive director of the Foreign Policy Association
• February 1 - Ion Ciubuc resigned unexpectedly as Moldova’s Prime Minister.
• February 19 - Ion Sturza is named Premier of Moldova.
• April 22 – Moldova’s Parliament ratifies the Map of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization.
• November 5 – The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank announced they interrupt the financing of Moldova because the conditions imposed on the country were not fulfilled.
• November 9 – The Sturza Government was dismissed.
• November 21-22 – The OSCE Istanbul Summit obliged Russia to pull out its troops and munitions from the Transnistrian region by January 1, 2003.
• December 21 - Dumitru Braghis was appointed Prime Minister of Moldova.
The executive director of the Foreign Policy Association Victor Chirila said two events of 1999 deserve being commented on because they had an impact on the decade following the proclamation of Moldova’s independence.
“The first event represents an important accomplishment of our Foreign Ministry. This is the decision of the OSCE Istanbul Summit to demand that Russia fully and unconditionally withdraw its armament stored in Moldova’s eastern region. It had to be pulled out by January 2003, but, unfortunately, this decision was later reinterpreted by the OSCE Summit of 2002, which allowed Russia to connect the withdrawal of its arsenal to the political resolution of the Transnistrian conflict. This means that the Communist government allowed reinterpreting the decision of the Istanbul Summit and thus that diplomatic gain could not be put to good use,” said Victor Chirila.
He stressed that the Istanbul Summit was the most important accomplishment of the Moldovan Foreign Ministry over the 20 years of independence, but it could not be turned to good account.
Another event that had a significant impact on the subsequent developments in Moldova, according to Victor Chirila, is the dismissal of the most pro-European and pro-democratic government in the first decade of Moldova’s independence – the Sturza Government. “Owing to that Government and the ruling Alliance for Democracy and Reform, foundations were laid for important economic reforms that could have contributed to more advanced relations with the EU and would have opened the doors for Moldova’s association and integration into the EU at the start of the 21st century if they had been fully implemented,” said Victor Chirila.
He also said that the dismissal of the Sturza Government compromised Moldova’s chances of becoming involved in the association and stabilization process in Southeastern Europe. “Those chances were then missed and the way was opened for the PCRM, which was for Moldova’s integration into the Russia-Belarus Union - to return to power. Owing to the PCRM’s ambiguous foreign policy, important years when the reforms Moldova needed to become involved in the process of association and stabilization offered by the EU to the Western Balkans could have been implemented were lost,” stated Victor Chirila.
The executive director of the Foreign Policy Association underlined that over the first decade of the proclamation of independence, Moldova joined a number of international originations and regional initiatives. “These achievements should have contributed to the accomplishment of our desiderata that include the European integration, energy security and the settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, but they had not. The Transnistrian dispute remains unsolved and no essential progress is expected to be made in the immediate period. Moldova’s association with the EU is being negotiated. The official talks have not yet started,” said Victor Chirila.
Victor Chirila served with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1996. Afterward, he worked at the Moldovan Embassy in the United States. Between 2004 and 2006, he had acted as the deputy head of the Europe and North America Department and the International Economic Relations Directorate. In 2006-2007, he studied for his master’s degree in European Public Policies at the University of Edinburgh. In August 2007, he started to work for the Foreign Policy Association as a specialist in political developments and European integration. In April 2010, he became executive director of the Association after holding the given post of an interim basis since July 2009.