Wien, 8. November 2012 Press release

Lopatka: “Moldova’s European course has our full support”

Greater cooperation with Austria in the security area is desired

Vienna, 8 November 2012 – “Moldova is one of the first states in the EU Eastern Partnership involvement. Negotiations on a new association agreement are progressing well and may already be completed in the coming year. We will continue to support Moldova in its approach to the EU to the best of our abilities in order to achieve this ambitious objective”, Austrian State Secretary Reinhold Lopatka said following his meeting with the Moldovan Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Natalia Gherman.

Bilateral cooperation was also on the agenda of the working discussion. Austria and the Republic of Moldova celebrate the 20th anniversary of their diplomatic relations this year. “Moldova has been a focus country for our development cooperation since 2004. We are concentrating above all on the development of the infrastructure for water supply and waste water as also on professional education and training. In addition we are also promoting measures to strengthen the public administration and to develop the capacities for crisis management”, the State Secretary said. The official Austrian development aid funding provision for Moldova has been around 22 million euros in total since 2004.

Vice-Foreign Minister Gherman also expressed interest in intensifying cooperation with Austria in the areas of security and the police. “A close cooperation in the fight against trafficking in human beings and organised crime is a matter of mutual interest for both of our countries. These cross border security threats demand a joint procedure”, State Secretary Lopatka said.

“We should reinforce our efforts in the development of our economic relations. The potential that exists for the involvement of Austrian companies in Moldova is significant”, Lopatka said. Soft loans have already been called on, for example for the modernisation of a hospital in Chisinau. The prerequisite for the market entry of further Austrian companies is the improvement of the investment conditions.

A positive dynamic has developed over recent months in regard to achieving a solution in the Transnistria conflict. “Good progress has recently been made in the 5+2 talks under OSCE auspices and for the first time questions of content have also been discussed, such as freedom of movement, the transportation of goods or humanitarian and human rights issues. Our offer of hosting the next round of the Transnistria talks in Vienna and providing good offices holds good”, Lopatka said. Vice-Foreign Minister Gherman informed the State Secretary about the latest developments in the 5+2 process, in which the OSCE, Russia and the Ukraine participate as mediators in addition to the conflict parties. The EU and the USA have observer status.

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