The European Union plans to significantly increase military support to Republic of Moldova in the context of the Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine, European Council president Charles Michel said on Wednesday, according to See News.
“We will help Republic of Moldova strengthen its resilience and cope with the consequences of the spill-over from Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Last year, we announced support of 7 million euro for equipment, medical and engineering needs of the army under the European Peace Facility programme. This year, we plan to significantly increase our support to Republic of Moldova by providing its armed forces with additional military equipment,” Charles Michel said in a live-streamed joint press conference with Republic of Moldova’s president Maia Sandu in Chisinau.
“We will also provide support to counter disinformation, strengthen social cohesion and withstand cyber-attacks,” added Michel.
Sandu stressed that the war in Ukraine has serious economic, social and humanitarian consequences for Republic of Moldova and noted that the country received over 13 million euro from the EU to cope with the impact of the massive influx of Ukrainian refugees.
“Our citizens have opened their hearts and homes to provide shelter for refugees in Ukraine. More than 90,000 of them remain in our country. We count on the support of our partners so that we can continue to offer support to those fleeing the war,” said Sandu.
She called for the opening of the European market for Moldovan products that can no longer access Eastern markets because of the war and asked for Moldovan freight carriers to be permitted to cross EU’s territory, as they can no longer use eastern routes. Also, she said that the elimination of tariffs for Moldovan products and the extension of the categories of products admitted on the European market would be of great help to local entrepreneurs.
In March, Moldova applied for membership in the European Union.
On April 26, Moldova raised the security alert at some critical institutions after explosions were reported in the breakaway region of Transnistria controlled by pro-Russian separatists.
Sandu stressed at the time that Republic of Moldova does not plan a blockade of Transnistria, a strip of land between the Dniester river and Moldova’s eastern border with Ukraine. After a violent separation of the region from Republic of Moldova in 1992, Russia stationed several thousand troops there to support the separatist republic.