Cover

“A small step for Europe, a giant leap for Moldova,” announces the front page of Timpul on the day when Prime Minister Iurie Leancă is to sign an association agreement with the European Union at the Eastern Partnership summit in the wake of three years of talks.

Today is a “historic day for Moldova,” writes the daily which reports on remarks made by the PM, for whom the signature “opens a clear path for Moldova to become a member of the EU.”

With the association agreement, “the EU and the United States have wrested Moldova from Russia’s claws,” headlines Adevărul Moldova, which reports on a success for Chisinau that is a reason to set aside scepticism and to see “the glass half full” —

Moldova has become the main “bloom” in the Eastern Partnership bouquet, now that the Ukraine has “withered” in the battle of the first Russian frosts in a November marked by so many hopes. European officials should attribute points to Moldova, without forgetting Ukraine (where things have yet to be decided). What is important is to maintain the desire for European integration on the level of government in Chisinau and to ensure its predominance in Bessarabian [Moldovan and Transnistrian] society.

The challenge of extracting Moldova from Russia’s sphere of influence remains a major one, writes România liberă in Bucharest. The daily emphasises that the agreement signed in Vilnius could have a determining impact on future of the region, which is why it has attracted the ire of Moscow. Columnist Sabina Fati predicts that for the moment —

Russia will allow Georgian and Moldovan leaders to delight in their success in Vilnius, so as to avoid problems in the run-up to the Winter Olympics [in Sotchi], but it is hard to believe that it will leave the two states in European hands. Thereafter it may resort to economic pressure and Romania must have a plan B to keep Moldova in the Europe’s sphere of influence.