Disinfo: The only benefit from the Association Agreement with the EU for Moldovans is the ability to care for the elderly in Italy


A permanent political crisis is a reality for Moldova. A civil war which resulted in the establishment of the unrecognised Transnistrian Republic and the so called colour revolution of 2009 are manifestations of the crisis. The EU-Moldova Association Agreement (AA) has turned out to be very disadvantageous for Moldovans. After the signing, painful economic and political transformations took place in the country, yet Moldovans have not profited from the agreement except for the new possibilities to go to the EU in order to clean houses or care for the elderly in Italy.


This message misrepresents the balance of losses and benefits from the AA/DCFTA for Moldova. The Association Agreement between the EU and Moldova was signed in June 2014 and has been in full effect since July 2016. EU imports from Moldova increased from EUR 1.3b in 2016 to EUR 1.9b in 2018.

The DCFTA allows for the removal of import duties for most goods traded between the EU and Moldova and provides for broad mutual access to trade in services for both partners. It also allows both EU and Moldovan companies to create a subsidiary or a branch office on a non-discriminatory basis. This means that they receive the same treatment as domestic companies in the partner's (EU and Moldovan) market when setting up a business.

At the same time, the AA/DCFTA does not open the EU's labour market for Moldovan citizens and has not given Moldovans new labour opportunities in Italy as alleged. Even before the AA/DCFTA between the EU and Moldova was signed, Italy was the main EU destination country for Moldovan migrants, with over 130,00 Moldovan citizens legally residing in its territory by 2011. The large numbers of Moldovan labourers in Italy stem from the fact that many Moldovans hold Romanian passports and benefit from the EU’s freedom of movement rules.

Read more about AA/DCFTA between the EU and Moldova here.

Earlier disinformation cases concerning the EU-Moldova relations can be found here.


  • Reported in: Issue 155
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Moldova
  • Keywords: migration, EU, Economic difficulties, AA/DCFTA


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

see more

Protests in Georgia were planned in advance to distort Georgian-Russian relations

The disruption of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO) in Georgia, followed by protests, was planned in advance to distort Georgian-Russian relations.


This statement is untrue. The protests were spontaneous starting during the morning of June 20 when a Russian MP from the Communist Party, Sergei Gavrilov, addressed delegates from the Georgian Parliament Speaker's seat during an annual meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (IAO).

The opposition boycotted the presence of the Russian delegation in Tbilisi which then grew to the protests in front of the Parliament. As a response, Vladimir Putin has temporarily banned Georgian airlines from flying to Russia and called on Russian citizens in Georgia to leave the country.

MH 17: The investigators did not present any evidence

The JIT, which has been investigating the shooting down of Flight MH17 over Ukraine for five years, has named the culprits, but left many questions unanswered.

The JIT investigators have still not presented any evidence. Who allowed the flights over the battlefield? Was that Russia? No. Where were the fighters? And where is the proof that it was the militia who fired [the Buk-missile]?


This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Flight MH17 to undermine the growing evidence that Russia was responsible for the downing of MH17. The JIT has in fact provided multiple items of evidence proving Russia's:

The Dutch-led criminal investigation by the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has been ongoing since 2014. On 28 September 2016, the JIT announced that Flight MH17 was shot down by a missile from the 9M38 series, which was launched by a BUK TELAR missile system. The system was transported from the Russian Federation to an agricultural field near the town of Pervomaiskyi in Eastern Ukraine, from where the missile was launched. After firing, the system - with 1 missing missile - went back to the Russian Federation. On the 24th of May 2018, the JIT announced its conclusion the BUK TELAR used to shoot down MH17 came from the 53rd Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade, a unit of the Russian armed forces from Kursk in the Russian Federation.

On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT, consisting of law enforcement agencies from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia, Ukraine and the Netherlands, the Dutch Public Persecution service will persecute Igor Vsevolodovich Girkin, Sergey Nikolayevich Dubinskiy, Oleg Yuldashevich Pulatov and Leonid Volodymyrovych Kharchenko for causing the crash of the MH17 and murdering all 298 persons on board. The Public Prosecution Service alleges that the four individuals cooperated to obtain and deploy the BUK TELAR at the firing location with the aim of shooting down an aircraft. For that reason they can also be held jointly accountable for downing flight MH17.

The European Union and NATO have called on the Russian Federation to accept its responsibility and to fully cooperate with all efforts to establish accountability. On the basis of the JIT’s conclusions, the Netherlands and Australia are convinced that Russia is responsible for the deployment of the Buk installation that was used to down MH17. The two governments are formally holding Russia accountable.

Dalia Grybauskaitė’s opposition to the Astravets Nuclear Power Plant is an attempt to hide Lithuania’s own failures in nuclear power

Lithuania’s attempts to shut down the Astravets nuclear power plant in Belarus are an attempt to get moral compensation for the closed Ignalina nuclear power plant, given to Lithuania for nothing when the Soviet Union broke down, and for the scandalous failure of the Visaginas nuclear power plant project – a topic that is taboo in Lithuania.





Lithuania opposes construction of the Astravets Nuclear power Plant (NPP) as the project does not comply with the international standards of environmental protection, and is built on the site that was not duly justified over the alternative ones.

On 7 June 2011, Lithuania lodged a complaint with the Implementing Committee of the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment (the Espoo Convention) on the Astravets nuclear power plant case. The February 2019 draft decision of the Meeting of the Parties of the Espoo Convention acknowledged that Belarus had failed to comply with some Convention provisions and encouraged Belarus and Lithuania to continue bilateral expert consultations.