Panel IVa. The Strategic Importance of Ukraine’s Reconstruction Process for Romania and the Republic of Moldova
Panel IVa was chaired by Mr. Ionel Nițu, President, New Strategy Center, Romania. H.E. Andrei SPÎNU, Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development, Republic of Moldova (via VTC) was the key-note speaker, followed by Mr. George SCUTARU, CEO, New Strategy Center, Romania, Mr. Cătălin PODARU, CEO, Leviatan Design, Romania and Mr. Bogdan CERNESCU, Managing Director, Head of Corporate Banking BCR, Romania.
The reconstruction process of Ukraine, involving the terrestrial border crossing through the Republic of Moldova, will encounter significant impediments unless concerted efforts are made for the joint reconstruction of both countries. The Galati-Braila region in Romania has the potential to become a crucial logistical hub, capable of attracting the ports of Giurgiulesti, Reni, and Izmail, thereby streamlining the management of the Danube. Romania holds three strategic advantages in the reconstruction process of Ukraine: NATO member state status, geographic proximity to Ukraine, and energy resources such as Black Sea gas reserves. Last but not least, innovative construction companies can be created in Romania, marking a first step towards regional development. The presence of a strong Ukraine at the border represents a major strategic interest for Romania, particularly when considering security. Simultaneously, supporting the Republic of Moldova is crucial to ensure the existence of a pro-European leadership in Chisinau, capable and willing to collaborate with Bucharest and Brussels. In this perspective, providing support for the democratic governance in Chișinău becomes exceedingly important, especially in the context of threats emanating from Russia.
Panel IVb. The Vital Triangle of Connectivity: Romania – Ukraine – the Republic of Moldova
The discussion was moderated by Mr. Tudor CURTIFAN, Editor-in-Chief of Defense Romania, Romania, with speakers Ms. Yulia KLYMENKO, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Transport and Infrastructure of the Verkhovna Rada – Parliament of Ukraine, Ukraine, Mr. Oleg TOFILAT, Head of the State Enterprise “Moldovan Railways”, Republic of Moldova, Mr. Irinel Ionel SCRIOȘTEANU, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure and Communications, Romania and Mr Sorin CHINDE President, GRAMPET Group, Romania.
With growing investments in Ukrainian infrastructure, a major opportunity for interconnection between Ukraine and Romania/Republic of Moldova is emerging. Kyiv plans as it pursues the European integration process along with Chisinau, to modify and develop its infrastructure in parallel. Bucharest has shown interest in this, but there are limits to interconnectivity between Romania and the post-Soviet area. However, recent tripartite agreements on rail and inland waterway transport reveal the development of regional projects.
Moreover, to ensure a rapid and sustainable reconstruction of Ukraine, a connected infrastructure with its neighbors is essential. The war has emphasized the importance of infrastructure and connectivity, and the achievements of the last 2 years have shown that we can implement them at an accelerated pace, which needs to continue. To this end, we need short and long-term investments that are flexible and adaptable to the situation on the ground, and a harmonized strategy of the three countries must take place during the current period of Russian aggression in Ukraine.