Crisis diplomacy at this time calls for great engagement. The situation in the Middle East demonstrates the scale of what has been achieved through the European Union, that we are able to live together in peace and freedom here in Europe.
As much as the crisis diplomacy at this time is placing great demands on us, our support for Ukraine and our partners in Eastern Europe such as Moldova is absolutely steadfast.
- Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock prior to her visit to Moldova
The Moldova Support Platform
The Moldova Support Platform was established by Annalena Baerbock in April 2022 together with her French and Romanian colleagues and the Moldovan Foreign Minister following Russia’s attack on Ukraine. As Ukraine’s smallest neighbour, Moldova felt the impact of the attack particularly strongly. It took in hundreds of thousands of refugees, faced major challenges especially in the area of energy supply and is frequently the target of Russian destabilisation attempts.
Foreign Minister Baerbock emphasised:
When Russia attacked Ukraine in spring 2022, the Republic of Moldova’s situation was dramatic: Russia’s war was on its doorstep, there were Russian soldiers in Transnistria, who could have easily taken over the country, energy costs were rocketing and Moldova had more per-capita Ukrainian refugees than any other country. Together with Romania and France, we stood and continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Moldova, for instance by means of energy assistance, which helped to spare people there a cold winter and to gradually wean Moldova off its dependence on Russian energy.
With the platform, a mechanism for concrete solidarity with Moldova was created, through which the European partners support Moldova as it grapples with these challenges. Within this framework, conferences took place in Berlin (April 2022), Bucharest (July 2022) and Paris (November 2022). The central theme of the fourth conference in Chisinau will be how to further develop the Moldova Support Platform, particularly with a view to the country’s journey towards membership of the European Union.
Moldova’s EU perspective
On 3 March 2022, shortly after the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, Moldova decided to submit an application for membership of the European Union. The Republic of Moldova has officially been a candidate country since 24 June 2022.
Since then, Moldova has drawn up an ambitious reform agenda for its path towards the EU. A decision on whether to commence negotiations will be taken before the end of the year. Given the economic situation and the prospects for Moldova’s young population, the challenges remain huge. Moldova has stood up to Russia’s destabilisation efforts, which are reinforced by fake news on social media and payment of demonstrators.
Foreign Minister Baerbock underscored:
During our meeting in Chisinau, therefore, we will discuss how we can step up our support for Moldova and how we can dovetail the structural assistance we are providing with political support for Moldova’s road to EU membership.