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FAKE NEWS: The EU Association Agreement is detrimental to Moldova

FAKE NEWS: The EU Association Agreement is detrimental to Moldova
©EPA-EFE/DUMITRU DORU  |   A man sells Moldovan and EU flags prior to a protest in front of a government building at the Great National Assembly Square in Chisinau, Moldova, 06 December 2020.

The EU Association Agreement did not bring any gains to Moldova, which lost the Russian market without being able to export to the EU, according to a false narrative published in the Russian media.

NEWS: “The scandal related to the non-payment on time for the Russian gas showed that not even a country under the administration of the West is capable of providing the necessities without collaborating with the Russian Federation. It’s not just about energy resources, but also the export of Moldovan products to Russia and other member states of the Eurasian Union, despite the Association Agreement with the EU, previously promoted as a panacea that would save the economy of the Republic of Moldova. In reality, the Association Agreement has only hurt Moldova, because the EU market has not replaced Russia. "

NARRATIVE: The EU Association Agreement has only brought losses to the Republic of Moldova.

LOCAL CONTEXT / ETHOS: The Republic of Moldova signed the EU Association Agreement in November 2013, when the former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych gave up at the last minute, due to intense pressure from Russia. Yanukovych's change of heart triggered the Euromaidan protest movement, which ended with the overthrow of the president and was followed by the annexation of Crimea by Russia and other subsequent events.

The association agreement was signed in 2014, and in the autumn of that year, the Free Trade Agreement entered into force, an important chapter on the trade relations between the Republic of Moldova and the European Community.

With the entry into force of the Agreement, Russia introduced  import duties for a number of Moldovan products, saying it was thus protecting its market from European products that could have get in through the Republic of Moldova. The experts, but also some politicians, explained then that it was a political decision, meant to penalize the Republic of Moldova for getting closer to the EU.

In 2019 and 2020, Russia waived the fees for several product categories, at the request of the former pro-Moscow president Igor Dodon, but that exception did not work anymore after he lost the election.

In recent years, about ⅔ of Moldovan exports have been destined for the Community market, while Russia's once-decisive share in Moldova's foreign trade has been declining by the year. Russia has often used foreign trade as a political weapon, as it has done, for example, in the "wine wars" since 2006, when it imposed bans on Moldovan wine production, which is quite important for Moldova's economy.

However, part of the population and politicians such as Igor Dodon are promoting the Republic of Moldova’s rapprochement with Russia and the Eurasian Union, which it de facto controls.

PURPOSE: To support the idea that the Association Agreement is detrimental to the Republic of Moldova, and the best development solution is to get closer to Russia.

WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: The Association Agreement is not only about the trade relations that the Republic of Moldova has with the EU, as the author of the text suggests. This is a document of over 1800 pages that covers all areas of cooperation and reform, such as the fight against corruption, the independence of the judiciary, environmental protection, etc. For the reforms it is carrying out to implement the Agreement, the Republic of Moldova receives financial support. The EU is Chisinau's main source of external assistance. For the period 2021-2024 alone, the EU has approved a financial support program for the Republic of Moldova worth 600 million euros.

Moreover, thanks to the Association Agreement, the EU has also lifted the visa requirement for Moldovan citizens, and some Member States also offer them the right to work.

The foreign trade of the Republic of Moldova has increased significantly with the entry into force of the Free Trade Agreement. In particular, exports increased from $ 1.14 billion in 2013 (the last year before the implementation of the Agreement) to $ 1.83 billion in 2019, or by more than 60%, an increase several times higher than the increase in exports in general.

Imports in 2019 compared to 2013 increased by only 17%, thus debunking another myth strongly promoted by anti-Europeans that after the entry into force of the Agreement, the Republic of Moldova would be invaded by European products.

GRAIN OF TRUTH: Not all Moldovan products have access to the European market, including animal products, and the Russian market remains an important one for fruits and vegetables.


  • Publication / Media:
    Rubaltic.ru
  • Date of publication:
    27/11/2021
  • Language / Target audience:
    Eurosceptic, farmers
  • Amplification:
    YouTube
  • Political affiliation:
    the Kremlin
  • Key narrative:
    The EU Association Agreement is detrimental to Moldova
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  • The EU Association Agreement did not bring any gains to Moldova, which lost the Russian market without being able to export to the EU, according to a false narrative published in the Russian media.
  • PURPOSE: To support the idea that the Association Agreement is detrimental to the Republic of Moldova, and the best development solution is to get closer to Russia.
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