BUCHAREST - From online dispatches
Romanian President Traian Basescu announced that Moldova may become part of Romania again in the next 25 years, Armenian news website Tert.am reported Wednesday.
"In the next 25 years Romania and Moldova could be united again," Basescu said in an article published on Monday in Romanian newspaper Romania Libera.
Moldova was part of Romania until it was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940. It declared independence in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Romania and Moldova sealed a long-awaited border treaty on Nov. 8, setting the stage for closer cooperation between the two neighboring countries.
The Romanian-Moldovan border treaty deals with a number of technical issues, such as the marking of the 681 kilomter border, joint construction projects, joint use of water resources, infrastructure and communication installations, as well as border maintenance and surveillance.
Moldova was the only neighboring country with which Bucharest had not signed such an agreement. If Romania joins the visa-free Schengen area in March 2011, its border with Moldova will also become part of the European Union external border.
"European Union borders will extend to the Dnestr River, and the democratic development in the region will be an incentive for other countries, such as Ukraine, to join the EU," said Romania's president.
Countering Basescu, according to the Voice of Russia radio website on Wednesday, Moldova’s Prime Minister Vlad Filat disavowed the statement by Romania's president about the possible unification of the two countries as part of the European Union. “Moldova is an independent country and will remain so in future,” he said.