Moldova recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijani territory – MFA

An interview with Alexander Codreanu, head of the bilateral cooperation division at Moldova’s Foreign Ministry

– What’s your view of the current state of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Moldova? And does the Moldovan political administration have any plan to make visits to Azerbaijan?

– Moldova and Azerbaijan enjoy very good relations, both politically and in terms of cooperation between [the countries’ relevant] internal structures. Political dialogue and economic-trade ties as well as bilateral relations in the humanitarian sphere are developing. The presidents have invited each other to pay mutual visits and efforts toward this issue are currently in progress. The president’s visit to Azerbaijan is likely to take place in 2016 because the new government is shaping in Moldova.

– Azerbaijan’s cooperation with the European Union weakened after a series of biased anti-Azerbaijan statements by European organizations, [including] the OSCE. What’s your view of it?

– At first, I would like say that we welcome the development of relations with both the European Union and the six countries involved in Eastern Partnership. At the same time, we also welcome each country defining their image in the development of this cooperation. For some countries economic-trade relations are more important and for others issues such as visa, immigration, etc. That is to say, each country should focus on issues that are of more importance to them. This is an independent right of ours. The European Union is supposed to define a frame for the development of cooperation. As you know, Moldova last year signed the Association Agreement, which entered into force on September 1. All of the 28 countries ratified this agreement. Our duty is to fulfill this agreement. In that agreement there are many items, the most important of which is political-economic issues. There has been 10 percent growth in imports and exports with the European Union since September of this year. Therefore, we intend to develop this cooperation further in future. There are reforms currently underway in the area of cooperation with the European Union, and each country can reveal how they seek to develop their interests. Countries uninterested to join the cooperation, of course, do not need to take part in this process.

– Azerbaijan is ready to cooperate with the EU, but the issue of the EU’s recognition of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is still missing in the Association Agreement. However, Moldova’s territorial integrity was taken into account when the country signed the analogous agreement. How would you explain such an approach of the EU, the reason behind these double standards?

– A country’s independence has to be taken into account when negotiating with the European Union. Negotiations have to continue until the interests of both sides are corresponded to. I would like to reiterate that a country’s interest should be taken into consideration when signing an agreement. Of course, Moldova recognizes and supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. Moldova cooperates with Azerbaijan on the international level

– Like Azerbaijan, Moldova is also a country affected by terrorism

– Moldova recognizes the independence and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Of course, we unambiguously recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as Azerbaijani territory as it is a native land of Azerbaijan.

Note that, as part of the joint project called “Azerbaijanis beyond the border…” between APA Holding and Azerbaijan’s State Committee for Work with Diaspora, meetings are being held in the countries of Eastern Europe.