HR/VP Borrell and Commissioner Várhelyi in the Republic of Moldova as part of an extensive outreach to partners affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine
High Representative/ Vice-President Josep Borrell and Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, visited together the Republic of Moldova on 2 and 3 March. In the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its impact on the Republic of Moldova, they underscored the European Union's solidarity with the country and reaffirmed the EU’s unwavering support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Moldova.
In the meeting with President Maia Sandu they discussed the regional security situation and conveyed the EU’s most sincere gratitude and deep appreciation to the people of Moldova for their efforts and solidarity to welcome large numbers of people fleeing from Ukraine.
At the joint press conference, HRVP Borrell said: ‘My sincere gratitude, President Sandu, we see your very efficient efforts and solidarity with people fleeing from Ukraine, and we will support you where we can.’ The HRVP stressed that ‘Moldova has a right to choose its foreign policy course and we believe strongly that Moldova belongs to the European family. We will continue to cooperate intensively on the basis of our Association Agreement.’
With Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița the HRVP and Commissioner discussed ways to strengthen Moldova’s resilience in areas covering the humanitarian situation, energy security, economic recovery and security and defence. The EU is currently looking at connecting Moldova to the European electricity grid swiftly.
Commissioner Várhelyi said: ‘We are very much impressed by the work Moldova has accomplished and the response it has given to this unprecedented development in its vicinity. We are here to help you with this challenge.’ The Commissioner announced that the EU will provide €15 million to help manage the immediate crisis. He also confirmed that the EU will continue to provide support beyond immediate needs, through economic recovery plan worth €600 million as well as the economic and investment plan with five flagship initiatives for Moldova leveraging up to € 3.4 billion.
Meeting with Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Nicu Popescu, the HRVP thanked Moldova for its support to the UN General Assembly’s resolution on aggression against Ukraine. It was agreed to hold the first EU-Moldova high-level political and security dialogue at the earliest possible convenience to discuss how to strengthen Moldova’s resilience by enhancing cyber security, implementing assistance under the European Peace Facility and fighting disinformation.
Meeting the Speaker of the Parliament Igor Grosu, the HRVP and Commissioner highlighted the Parliament’s key role in passing important legislation, and urged them to advance on key governance and energy reforms in line with the EU-Moldova Association Agreement.
A visit to a centre hosting people fleeing from Ukraine allowed the HRVP and the Commissioner to see first-hand the Moldovan efforts in providing help to their neighbours in need, to have conversations with refugees and hear their stories and to thank the authorities and volunteers for their important work.