Statement with President Vladimir Voronin on U.S.-Moldovan Relations
December 17, 2002
We welcome the positive development and expansion of U.S.-Moldovan relations
over the last 11 years. The relationship of our two countries is based on a
shared commitment to promoting prosperity, freedom, and security in Moldova
and throughout the region.
Together, we reaffirm our support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity
of the Republic of Moldova, and underscore our determination to bring the Transnistrian
separatist conflict to a peaceful resolution. We stress our continued commitment
to the ongoing OSCE-led Transnistria talks and, in particular, to the Kiev Document
as the basis for negotiation of a lasting settlement.
We note and welcome the Russian Federation's intention to implement fully its
commitments undertaken at the OSCE's Istanbul Summit by completing the withdrawal
of its forces from the territory of Moldova by December 31, 2003. We urge Transnistria's
authorities to support unconditionally this process. If the Transnistrian authorities
continue systematically to create obstacles for the disposal or withdrawal of
Russian ammunition and military equipment, we are prepared to consider together
with other concerned countries targeted measures directed at the Tiraspol regime.
We recognize the progress that Moldova has made in transforming its economy
in a free market direction, most notably in the agricultural sector. At the
same time, we are cognizant of the economic challenges currently facing Moldova,
including Moldova's particularly difficult debt situation. We are in complete
accord that Moldova must strengthen its reform efforts, especially in the areas
of privatization and the energy sector, and improve its investment climate.
We agreed that with strong and clearly demonstrated performance under Moldova's
IMF program, the United States would consider participating in a comprehensive
plan to stabilize Moldova's debt outlook in the medium term.
We note and welcome Moldova's positive record since independence in conducting
free and fair elections and in implementing democratic reforms. We pledge our
commitment to upholding the principles of democracy and human rights and to
observing them in practice. To this end, we underscore the vital importance
of further progress in meeting OSCE election standards and in strengthening
free and independent media in Moldova.
Finally, we reaffirm the importance of continued cooperation between the United
States and Moldova in promoting regional security, including through our common
efforts at combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; transnational
crime; and trafficking in persons. We will deepen our cooperation to combat
international terrorist threats to world peace both in our own countries and
internationally. The United States appreciates Moldova's support in the global
war on terrorism.