Ukraine, Moldova agree to move to new level of strategic partnership – Sandu
Ukraine is a strategic partner for the Republic of Moldova, and maintaining constant and pragmatic cooperation with Ukraine is an important task for Moldova, said Moldovan President Maia Sandu during her official visit to Ukraine.
"I am glad to be in Kyiv as President to restore friendship between our countries at the highest level. In recent years, the Moldovan-Ukrainian dialogue at the level of heads of state has been virtually suspended. I confirm that Ukraine is a strategic partner for the Republic of Moldova, and maintaining constant and pragmatic cooperation with Ukraine is an important task for the Republic of Moldova and for the President," Maia Sandu said at a press conference following talks with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Tuesday.
She stressed that during today's talks, the parties had agreed to bring relations between the two countries to another level - strategic partnership.
"Today we are taking an important step towards the establishment of these strategic relations. We decided to create the Council of Presidents of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine as a new permanent format of cooperation at a high level," Sandu said.
According to the Moldovan President, this mechanism of constant interaction will help in the development of policies and strategies, and will contribute to solving problems on the bilateral agenda, as well as to monitor the implementation of the agreed agreements.
"During the meeting, we reaffirmed our joint desire to intensify the implementation of the European integration program by our countries. This path is a strategic option for the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, and a reliable way of developing a functional state with a modern market economy in the interests of citizens," she stressed.
Sandu added that the heads of state also spoke in favor of strengthening the Moldovan-Ukrainian partnership with the Eastern Partnership, in particular within the framework of the summit of this initiative, which will be held this year.
"We paid special attention to the issues of Moldovan-Ukrainian relations, which for a long time remained unresolved. We agreed to intensify efforts and identify mutually beneficial solutions to existing problems. In this context, we agreed to resume dialogue through the specialized institutions of our countries, including the continuation of the activities of working groups and bilateral sectoral commissions on current issues," she explained.
Sandu noted that the presidents discussed the need to find solutions in the interests of citizens of both countries in such key areas as ensuring security on the joint state border, ensuring environmental protection, cooperation in the energy sector, regulation in accordance with international law and in the interests of both countries related to the mutual recognition of property rights, the constant and balanced development of bilateral trade, the liberalization of international transport between countries and the problems associated with the operation of the Dniester hydropower complex.
"Taking into account that the waters of the Dniester River provide life to more than 7 million people who live in the basin of this river both in the Republic of Moldova and in Ukraine, it is very important to continue the dialogue between our countries to ensure the protection and sustainable use of the Dniester River, so that its water serve both our generation and future generations," the head of state believes.
She and Zelensky also agreed to expedite the search for a sustainable solution to ensure mutual travel based on ID cards, which would benefit the citizens of both countries, she said.
Sandu noted that one of the projects discussed during the meeting concerns the development of road infrastructure on the Chisinau-Soroca-Yampil-Kyiv highway.
"This will create an automobile transport corridor that will reduce trip time between Chisinau and Kyiv, and may become the fastest route from the central region of Ukraine to the countries of Central and South-Eastern Europe," she said.
The President of Moldova started her speech in Ukrainian. She also thanked Zelensky for the invitation to make this visit.