Europe: The European Union will increase its military aid to Moldova | International
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The European Union will offer military material to the Armed Forces of Moldova with the aim of increasing the stability and security of the country and maintaining its territorial integrity, as well as logistical support to combat cyber attacks and disinformation, the President of the Council said on Wednesday. European, Charles Michel, in the capital of this former Soviet republic, Chisinau.
“We are going to help Moldova to consolidate its resilience and face the effects of the crisis due to Russian aggression in Ukraine,” Michel said at a joint press conference with Moldovan President Maia Sandu. “Last year we announced support of seven million euros for equipment; this year, we plan to increase this amount”, continued the community representative. Michel declined to give further details of the aid, but explained that “it is extremely important to avoid any escalation.” In addition, the EU will cooperate on cyber defense with this republic of just over two and a half million inhabitants, according to the high-ranking European official.
Transnistria, the former Soviet enclave within the borders of Moldova that declared independence de facto in 1990, it also came to the fore. The President of the Council stated that this autonomous rebel territory should not be used as a “Trojan horse” to “intensify tensions in the region”. For his part, Sandu assured that “there is no imminent danger” that Moldova will be involved in the war in Ukraine for this separatist region, embedded in the left bank of the Nistru River and Ukraine. “We do everything possible to deactivate any attempt to destabilize the region,” said the Moldovan head of state, before revealing that Chisinau has drawn up a contingency plan to deal with any critical situation.
“We do not see any imminent threat for the nearest future, but of course we have contingency plans for such scenarios, which are less optimistic or pessimistic,” the pro-European and liberal politician noted. Sandu acknowledged however that the recent incidents in Transnistria “are worrying”.
Last week’s explosions at a Security Ministry building, at a military unit near the town of Parcani and at the television and radio towers in Grigoriopol have heightened fears of an implosion in this Cold War tinderbox, after hibernate for more than 30 years. In addition, the Transnistrian authorities reported on Tuesday that they had shot down an explosive drone that intended to destroy a radio and television transformer.
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Pro-Russian separatists have called the attacks terrorist acts and blamed them on Ukraine. kyiv maintains, on the other hand, that it is an operation of false flag of Russia to falsely identify him as the author of the attacks. “Our assessment has shown that these incidents have been caused by pro-war forces within the region. At the same time we have heard threats from Russian generals about their intentions to reach Transnistria and of course these statements are irresponsible and worrying”, affirmed the Moldovan president.
The President of the European Council appreciated the involvement of the Moldovan authorities in managing the Ukrainian refugee crisis and promised aid of 15 million euros in immigration matters. “Moldova has received the largest number of refugees per capita,” Michel stressed. Almost 100,000 people who fled from the neighboring country are sheltered in the country.
“Our duty is to help and support this country and increase our support for stability, security, territorial integrity and sovereignty,” stressed the President of the European Council. Sandu thanked the help of the European Union to manage the migratory flow. “The war in Ukraine has important economic, social and humanitarian consequences for Moldova,” the president said.
Michel underlined that the EU is taking steps to strengthen ties with Moldova, including on energy security. “It is a complex process, we want to help Moldova to meet the conditions, but we want to act immediately to strengthen ties”, declared the President of the Council. He also insisted that this Eastern European country’s application for membership, as well as those submitted by Ukraine and Georgia, are being examined at a very fast pace by European institutions.
Regarding the delivery to Brussels of the first part of the questionnaire for the accession of Moldova, Michel said that he hopes that the European Commission will rule on the matter at the end of June. Afterwards, he will decide when he will present the membership to European leaders. Michel reiterated that the EU states will support Moldova on its way to European integration. “We will strengthen social cohesion and continue to support Moldova through the rule of law, the reform of the judiciary, all in the context of applying to join the European Union,” added the community official.
Sandu recognized the arduous task of accession and conveyed to Michel that Moldova had chosen the model of the community bloc. “We are not looking for shortcuts or procedural concessions. But we want to give our citizens the future they deserve as soon as possible: a future in the family of European states,” Sandu said.
On 22 April, Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita handed over to the EU Ambassador to Moldova, Janis Mažeiks, the first questionnaire to acquire the status of a candidate for membership of the community club. In a few days, Moldova will complete the second part of the questionnaire to the European Commission.
While the long process continues on its way, Sandu defended that eliminating tariffs for Moldovan products and expanding the list of goods allowed in the community market “would be a great help”. He also pointed out that it would be positive to grant permits to carriers who for obvious reasons can no longer use the eastern route.
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