CHISINAU. Dec 5 (Interfax) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who briefly visited Chisinau on Wednesday evening, said he had come to Moldova to congratulate the country's people and leaders, who initialed an association agreement with the European Union at the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, last week.
Kerry made this statement during a trip to famous wine cellars of Cricova on the outskirts of Chisinau, an Interfax correspondent reported.
The U.S. secretary of state called the association agreement with the EU a guarantee of Moldova's future prosperity.
Speaking on behalf of the American people, Kerry promised to help Moldova implement the Association and Free Trade Area Agreement with EU countries.
The Moldovan authorities took advantage of their opportunity for integration with Europe, he added.
Reforms Moldova will have to implement as it moves toward Europe will boost the Moldovan economy's appeal to foreign investors, he said.
Moldova was given a chance to build new bridges that would link this country with Europe, he said.
The people of Ukraine can benefit from such a future as well, Kerry said.
Moldova's future lies in its ties with the rapidly developing European continent, a major platform on which Moldova will be able to choose its partners both in Europe and around the world, Kerry said, adding that the U.S. had provided Moldova with free-of-charge assistance amounting to $1.1 billion.
The U.S. will give a further $22 million to Moldova, which will spend this money on implementing the Association and Free Trade Area Agreement with the EU, he said.
The U.S. government is currently drawing up a technical assistance program that will focus on maintaining Moldova's energy security in the long term, Kerry said.
USAID and Sweden's SIDA will also issue a $3.5-million loan to Moldovan banks in order to fund energy security projects, he said.
Moldovan Prime Minister Iurie Leanca, for his part, confirmed the existence of a long-term partnership between his country and the U.S. and called on American investors to put their money into the Moldovan economy.
Kerry visited Moldova as part of his tour that would also take him to Belgium, Israel and the West Bank.
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