Moldova Support Conference – “Bridge of Solidarity”
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock welcomes the prime minister of Moldova Natalia Gavrilita, © Florian Gaertner/photothek.de
Foreign Minister Baerbock is hosting a Support Conference for Moldova together with her French and Romanian counterparts. Moldova is facing a particular burden as a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
Moldova facing significant challenges caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine
Millions of people from Ukraine are currently seeking refuge outside of their country as the Russian war of aggression continues. The Republic of Moldova, the only non‑EU state along Ukraine’s western border, is facing a particular burden. More than 400,000 Ukrainian refugees have crossed into Moldova since 24 February, and just under 100,000 are still in the country today.
Moldova only has a population of around 2.6 million people, the same as the cities of Chicago, Toronto or Rome. And the state’s coffers, staff and administrative resources were already under strain even before the pandemic and the steep rise in energy costs during the recent gas crisis.
Solidarity from Moldova’s European and transatlantic partners
This is why Foreign Minister Baerbock is launching today’s conference. It is about coming together to show support for the Republic of Moldova. The conference sends out the message that Moldova is not alone, that it can count on its European and transatlantic partners.
At the heart of the conference is the question of how to support Moldova in overcoming the challenges posed by the major influx of refugees from Ukraine. This support naturally includes the continuation of flights to redistribute refugees, prioritising those who are particularly vulnerable.
However, the Russian war of aggression is also an act of aggression against our rules-based international order and against the values shared and upheld by the countries participating in the conference: freedom, peace and the right to self-determination. All peoples have the right to decide their own future. Nobody should be left at the mercy of a stronger neighbour – neither the people of Ukraine nor the people of Moldova. We therefore want to enhance our cooperation with the Republic of Moldova in the long term, not just with a view to immediate needs. Together with our Moldovan partners, we want to examine how we can help to reduce the country’s dependence on Russia and increase its resilience. We will thus be acting preventively to tackle threats to Moldova’s stability at an early stage.
Four areas are crucial:
- supporting Moldova’s power generation sector, where there are major dependencies on gas with all of the attendant vulnerabilities
- standing by the Moldovan Government as it implements its ambitious reform agenda, including in the areas of justice, combating corruption and fostering economic development
- providing support with border management
- boosting economic resilience
The conference also marks the launch of the Support Platform for the Republic of Moldova. This platform will work continuously and maintain a focus on the priority areas addressed by the conference over the long term.