President Nicolae Timofti awarded the former President of Romania, Traian Basescu the Stefan cel Mare Order at the state residence.
The distinction was given to Traian Basescu "as a token of deep gratitude for his special contribution to promoting stability, security and democracy in the region and for his constant support for Moldova in the process of training staff in the fields of defence, security and public order."
President Nicolae Timofti said that Mr Basescu was a friend of Moldova and that he praised his personal relationship established with the former president of Romania. The Moldovan president recalled his first visit abroad, in Bucharest, where Mr Basescu conveyed a message of encouragement and wished him success while exercising the mandate of Moldova's president.
For his part, Traian Basescu said he was honoured to be in Chisinau to receive the Stefan cel Mare Order. "This is a sign of respect that Moldova has shown me throughout time, to which I cannot but answer with respect and love for Moldova," said Basescu.
"A few days ago we celebrated 97th anniversary of the union of Bessarabia with Romania. Today we are two independent states, but we have never ruled to do this, but it was decided by two criminals - Stalin and Hitler, and legalised by Molotov and Ribbentrop. I wonder how long we will live just as Stalin and Hitler decided?
Considering Russia's aggression in the past 2 years, perhaps the best thing for the Romanians on both banks of Prut is to be together, united? This is a question that we must ask ourselves. Maybe it is not the right time to dare to think of a union between the two countries. But surely it is time to think about alternatives.
We have also the solution to take the same path towards the European Union together. We must think what is the best solution to guarantee our own security, taking into account the developments in the Black Sea region, which has lately became one of the most tense areas in the world.
If presently, Moldova signed an Association Agreement with the European Union, if it received the prospect of EU integration, if visas were abolished for Moldovan citizens, this is the merit of the Moldovan citizens and politicians”, said Basescu .
"I have earlier said that, during my first first visit to Chisinau, as a former president, I will ask to receive Moldovan citizenship. I did not do it because the political situation is not auspicious for such things. I will request to become a citizen of Moldova at a later date," said Basescu.
President Nicolae Timofti said that Traian Basescu could receive Moldovan citizenship, considering his merits in strengthening the strategic partnership between Moldova and Romania.