EU ready for 'deeper relationship' with Moldova -

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EU ready for 'deeper relationship' with Moldova -

Mesaj Scris de Beauty la data de Mar 14 Oct 2008 - 9:30

EU ready for 'deeper relationship' with Moldova
13 October 2008, 21:20 CET

(LUXEMBOURG) - The EU on Monday promised deeper relations with Moldova through "a new and ambitious agreement soon", with the aim of bringing the former Soviet republic and the European bloc "closer together."
EU foreign ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, welcomed "the recent increase in the pace of its relations" with Moldova and said the new agreement would go beyond an existing Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.
"It (the EU) is ready to have a deeper relationship in the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy and to negotiate a new and ambitious agreement with Moldova soon," the ministers said in a joint statement.

The new deal will work towards "a comprehensive and deep free-trade area, to be put in place when the Republic of Moldova is ready to sustain the effects of full liberalization of its trade with the EU," it added.
However the European ministers warned that "the pace and quality of reforms in the Republic of Moldova will affect the nature of its relations with the EU."
The European Union attaches particular importance to parliamentary elections in Moldova next spring, and the foreign ministers stressed that these would be "conducted in a democratic manner."

Moldova has expressed the ambition to join the 27-member EU but the country of around 4.5 million wedged between Romania and Ukraine is still a long way from doing so with no date set for membership or even candidate status.
Relations between Moscow and the former Soviet republic are marred by tensions over the Transdniestrian region which contains pro-Russian separatists and where Russian troops are still deployed.
The EU said it would "increase its engagement in efforts to resolve the conflict".
Russia and Moldova have recently claimed to be inching towards a solution to the 16-year-old conflict.

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