Romanian and Moldovan premiers on June 29 discussed a range of initiatives intended to ease strains in bilateral relations, including the possibility of holding joint cabinet meetings once a year. Besides joint cabinet meetings, Romania's prime minister, Calin Popescu-Tariceanu, and his Moldovan counterpart Vasile Tarlev agreed that Romania will contribute to a fund for Moldova's development, discussed cooperation in energy projects, reviewed Romanian plans to boost investment in Moldova, and added details to cooperation aimed at bolstering Moldova's bid for EU membership.
The meeting in Chisinau broght no progress toward the new treaty between the two countries that Moldova has been pressing for. Popescu-Tariceanu described the concept of such a treaty as "absolutely obsolete" in a European context, and said, "we must establish a modern, forward-looking relationship based on current realities." Another long-standing point of contention -- language -- clearly also remains a major problem. "Concepts such as a Moldovan language hinder a Romania-Moldova rapprochement and confidence," the news agency BASA quoted Popescu-Tariceanu as saying. "Bilateral relations will meet the expectations as soon as these issues are overcome," he predicted. This was the first visit to Moldova by Popescu-Tariceanu, who has been in power for 30 months. Romania recently became Moldova's key economic partner, in part because of a Russian ban on Moldovan wine, spirits, meat, fruit, and vegetables.