MOSCOW, June 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has warned Moldova about risks it would face if integrated with the European Union, Russian Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexei Likhachev told RIA Novosti Monday.
"Moldova cannot combine two regulatory systems: of the CIS and of the EU. It will have to make some choice. And if it is in favor of the European system, then the CIS system will cease to be comfortable. We have put these thoughts across, but the Moldovan colleagues say they will be able to avoid this and promised to show us relevant proof," Likhachev said.
Russian officials warned Moldova about the consequences when meeting with the nation's Economic Minister Valery Lazer in Chisinau last week for consultation on the country's preparation for economic integration with the EU, set for June 27.
Likhachev said Chisinau's decision would have economic risks for both Russia and Moldova. He said Moscow's position was pragmatic and was not tied to the political choice of Moldova, a former Soviet republic, now member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The CIS free trade zone agreement allows the customs union to apply mechanisms to defend its marker in the case of one of the commonwealth's members creating a free-trade zone with a third party.
Russia offered Moldova to hold three-party talks with the EU representatives to analyze all possible economic risks for all sides involved.