U.S. Senator Dick Lugar (R-IN) today welcomed Moldovan Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Iurie Leanca to his office to discuss trade expansion and nuclear non-proliferation cooperation between the United States and Moldova.
"It was a pleasure to exchange views with Minister Leanca and to discuss bolstering cooperation with Moldova through the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program and repealing Jackson-Vanik trade restrictions on Moldova," Lugar said. "The United States must continue to support Moldova's agenda of European integration."
Last September, Senator Lugar released a report highlighting the interdiction of weapons grade highly-enriched uranium by Moldovan officials that was apparently destined for criminal or terrorist elements in North Africa. Lugar called for increased cooperation with Moldova through the Nunn-Lugar Program, which has safeguarded and destroyed weapons of mass destruction and component materials around the world since its inception in 1992. The Nunn-Lugar WMD-Proliferation Prevention Program began a comprehensive weapons interdiction effort in Moldova in late 2011. The Nunn-Lugar Program has been involved in Moldova since 1997, when funds were used to purchase nuclear capable MIG fighter jets from Moldova to pre-empt their potential sale to Iran.
Senator Lugar also has introduced S.309, a bill to grant permanent normal trade relations to Moldova, which would lay the foundation for increased trade between the United States and Moldova.