To say that we have closer ties with France than with any other country is not just an empty statement. For it reflects our day-to-day reality. Despite a shared history marked by suffering, war and bitter rivalry, people on both sides of the Rhine are so closely connected and interlinked in today’s common Europe that they can actually no longer do anything without each other. They know deep in their hearts that they can count on one another at any time. The fact that our peoples enjoy such a close and warm relationship despite all the cultural differences is a magnificent success and remains the cornerstone of our cooperation.
Germany and France are united by our steadfast commitment to a strong and united Europe. It is very important to me to work shoulder to shoulder with France to ensure that the European Union remains strong in the future.
Together we have shown during the last few months that Europe does not back down when a member of our family is subjected to a war of aggression on its territory, its freedom and democracy. Putin’s aggression also poses a threat to all other countries of the former Soviet Union, particularly those travelling in the direction which is the most dangerous for Putin: in the direction of democracy. That is why we have helped Moldova to equip itself against Putin’s hybrid aggression from the outset. Now that icy winter temperatures are almost upon us, we will step up our efforts at the third conference of the Moldova Support Platform. For we will show anyone who believes that democracies can be made vulnerable by letting people freeze that we stand as one, in solidarity and determination against any attempt to blackmail or force into submission a member of our European family.