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DISINFORMATION: If Moldova leaves the CIS, it will have nowhere to sell its products

Disinformation

DISINFORMATION: If Moldova leaves the CIS, it will have nowhere to sell its products

The Republic of Moldova will suffer enormous economic losses if it exists the Commonwealth of Independent States, according to the former pro-Russian president Igor Dodon. However, statistics show that Moldovan exports to Russia have been steadily declining, as Moscow has imposed tariff caps on Moldovan products since 2014 and is supplying gas at market prices.

NEWS: “The president of the Moldovan-Russian Business Union called the intention of the Moldovan authorities to examine the possibility of exiting the CIS an “idiocy”. During the “Glavnyi vopros” show on NTV Moldova, Igor Dodon said that this would mean not only breaking all economic agreements, but also an end to the visa-free regime with the countries of the Commonwealth.

“Imagine that tomorrow there will be a visa regime with Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, etc. Why do this? Where will we export our goods, where will we deliver our apples after this situation in Ukraine is over? And where will we buy energy resources from? Do you think that Romanians will sell them to us? Romanians are buying Russian gas themselves! Or Germany? They too use Russian gas, it’s just that we will buy it at higher prices from others”, Igor Dodon said.

Reality

NARRATIVES: 1. The CIS is a lifeline for the Republic of Moldova. 2. Renouncing the CIS membership will be an extremely severe blow to the economy of the Republic of Moldova.

LOCAL CONTEXT / ETHOS: The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was created in December 1991, after the official dissolution of the former USSR. It originally included 12 of the 15 former Soviet republics (the Baltic States did not join), and Moscow played the role of first violin from the very beginning. Georgia left the CIS after the Russian invasion in 2008, and Ukraine announced the same in 2018, but did not complete all legal proceedings.

In the Republic of Moldova, CIS membership is viewed differently in society than it is in the political environment, as are most topics related to the country's foreign policy. Pro-Russian politicians, such as former President and Socialist leader Igor Dodon, present Moldova's CIS membership as a “holy cow” that will provide a market for Moldovan products and cheap energy resources, even if the CIS market absorbs less than 10% of the exports, given that Russia has imposed customs duties on several agricultural products (in violation of the CIS agreements), and the Republic of Moldova is buying gas at market prices.

Igor Dodon made the statements after Parliament Speaker Igor Grosu told  a public radio station - Radio Moldova - that against the background of the declining CIS market share, Russia had violated the organization's provisions and imposed customs taxes for Moldovan products, so after the end of the war in Ukraine an analysis and debate on the need to remain part of the organization was required.

PURPOSE:  To have people worry about the economic losses and risks that the Republic of Moldova’s withdrawal from the CIS -  a Moscow-controlled organization – would entail.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The share of Moldovan exports to the CIS has been steadily declining by the year, especially after in 2014 the Russian Federation imposed customs duties on most Moldovan products that had traditionally got to the Russian markets: fruits and vegetables. In the first three months of this year, the share of the CIS in Moldovan exports was less than 10% of the total. The Republic of Moldova exported three times less to the entire CIS space than to Romania. Exports to Russia were six times lower than those bound for Romania, according to data  provided by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The Republic of Moldova is buying gas from the Russian Federation at market prices, which is currently the only viable way to import natural gas - so even in the field of energy, Chisinau has no benefits from its relationship with the CIS. The Republic of Moldova, however, will participate in the project launched by the EU for the joint acquisition of natural gas, which will make it less vulnerable to Gazprom. Also, Romania too might export gas to Moldova in the coming years.

GRAIN OF TRUTH:  A potential decision by Chisinau to relinquish its CIS membership could have some economic but insignificant repercussions, given the share of its current trade relations with the member states of this organization.

Tags: Republica Moldova , Igor Dodon , CIS
  • Publication / Media:
    moldova-rusia.md
  • Date of publication:
    19/05/2022
  • Target audience:
    Eurosceptic, promoters of tighter relations with Russia
  • Amplification:
    A large number of media institutions in Russia, including tass.ru, rian.ru, eadaily.com
  • Political affiliation:
    Party of Socialists
  • Key narrative:
    The Republic of Moldova will suffer huge economic losses if it leaves the CIS.
Veridica

23 May 2022

Updated at: 23 May 2022 16:40:57
Veridica

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24 minutes read
  • The Republic of Moldova will suffer enormous economic losses if it exists the Commonwealth of Independent States, according to the former pro-Russian president Igor Dodon. However, statistics show that Moldovan exports to Russia have been steadily declining, as Moscow has imposed tariff caps on Moldovan products since 2014 and is supplying gas at market prices.
  • NARRATIVES: 1. The CIS is a lifeline for the Republic of Moldova. 2. Renouncing the CIS membership will be an extremely severe blow to the economy of the Republic of Moldova.
  • PURPOSE: To have people worry about the economic losses and risks that the Republic of Moldova’s withdrawal from the CIS - a Moscow-controlled organization – would entail.
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