"As a self-declared neutral country, Moldova does not seek NATO membership, but participates in NATO's Partnership for Peace (PFP) program. In June 2014, Moldova expects to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union (EU), which includes a free trade agreement, and closer cooperation in a wide variety of spheres. Moldova hopes to become a candidate for EU membership, although the EU is unlikely to accept Moldova in the foreseeable future, due to Moldova's poverty, the EU's own internal challenges, and possibly also due to concerns that it would set a precedent for the candidacy of other former Soviet states, such as Ukraine. The United States and Moldova have enjoyed good relations since the country's independence in 1991. In a signal of U.S. support, Secretary of State John Kerry visited Moldova on December 4, 2013, to congratulate the country on initialing its Association Agreement with the EU in Moldova. The United States and the EU are working to enhance market opportunities for wine and other Moldovan products in part in order to reduce the impact of current and possible future Russian embargoes. During a visit to Moldova on March 30, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland confirmed U.S. support for Moldova's path toward European integration and for continued U.S. aid for anti-corruption efforts, strengthening border security (for which Ms. Nuland announced an additional $10 million in U.S. aid), boosting Moldovan exports (including Moldovan wines), energy security, and other areas."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21981