In a significant move, Moldovan President Maia Sandu signed nine decrees on Wednesday, ushering changes in the government's structure, judiciary, and international relations. The decrees have implications for key state institutions and signal a decisive shift in Moldova's international affiliations.
Government Reshuffle and Judicial Appointments
Among the decrees, Sandu appointed Viorica Puica, a judge with a superior qualification rank, to the Constitutional Court. This move aligns with the broader efforts to strengthen the judiciary's independence in Moldova.
Furthermore, the finance ministry witnessed a change at the helm, with Veronica Sireteanu being replaced by Petru Rotaru. Similarly, the National Anti-Corruption Center saw a leadership change as Alexandr Pinzari took over from Iulian Rusu.
Decoupling from the Commonwealth of Independent States
Two decrees marked Moldova's intentional distancing from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The first related to Moldova's withdrawal from the Unified Institute of Nuclear Research Statute, while the second terminated the Agreement on mutual assistance in case of accidents and other exceptional situations at the electro-energy facilities of the CIS member states. These moves highlight Moldova's shift in alliances and strategic partnerships.
Loans, International Agreements, and Legal Amendments
Furthermore, an economic boost came in the form of a 23 million euro loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for Moldova's Railways.
This funding is likely to play a significant role in enhancing the country's transport infrastructure. The decrees also ratified economic cooperation agreements with Portugal and the Netherlands, fostering stronger ties with EU member states. Lastly, Sandu approved amendments to laws concerning the evaluation of judges' performance, further fortifying the judiciary's integrity.
In a separate incident in Tokyo, Atsushi Ozawa, a taxi driver, was arrested for intentionally driving into a flock of pigeons, resulting in the death of one bird. This act violated wildlife protection laws, as pigeons, not being a game species, can only be killed with local authority approval if they cause damage. Ozawa's justification that roads are for people and birds should avoid cars has sparked a debate about human-wildlife coexistence in urban spaces.
In another significant development, the European Union formally agreed to consider Ukraine and Moldova as candidates for EU membership. This historic decision marked a crucial point in their journey towards European integration. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy hailed the decision as one of the most important for Ukraine in its 30 years of independence. Likewise, Sandu affirmed Moldova's commitment to working hard to achieve ultimate membership in the EU.