EU wants to invest hundreds of millions of euros in Moldova

Status: 05/31/2023 7:09 p.m

When heads of state and government from almost 50 countries meet for the summit in Moldova tomorrow, a signal of solidarity for the hosts should go out. Brussels warns of Russia’s influence and fuels hopes of EU accession.

Heads of state and government from almost 50 countries are expected this Thursday for the second summit of the new European Political Community (EPG) in Moldova. The idea for this format came from French President Emmanuel Macron. The aim is to improve cooperation between states of the European Union and other European countries.

Clear signal against Russia

The focus of the talks at Mimi Castle in Bulboaca is likely to be Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and its consequences. From the EU’s point of view, the summit should be a clear sign to Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin that his country is now almost completely isolated in Europe.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu campaigned for the republic to join the EU soon.

In the run-up to the summit, the EU Commission announced an aid package worth several hundred million euros for the Republic of Moldova. On the one hand, this is intended to alleviate the effects of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and at the same time to bring the accession candidate Moldova closer to the EU, said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in Chisinau.

Investments in infrastructure and operations

More than 100 million euros are to flow into the energy sector. Further money should go directly to Moldovan companies or be invested in the country’s rail expansion. The roaming charges between the EU and Moldova will also be reduced in the future. “My message to the people of Moldova is: we stand by your side. We support you every step of the way towards the European Union,” said von der Leyen.

The President of the EU Commission also acknowledged the country’s “great progress” on the way to EU membership. It is amazing how quickly the small neighboring country of Ukraine is progressing. Almost a year ago, the EU declared Moldova and Ukraine as candidate countries.

The pro-Western government in Chisinau is under pressure.

Moldova’s President Maia Sandu emphasized that her country will continue to work on the necessary reforms for accession at the joint appearance with von der Leyen. “Moldova’s place is in the European Union,” Sandu said. Your country will continue to work on the necessary reforms for accession. The EU Commission is demanding progress in nine key areas such as the judicial system and the fight against corruption.

Zelenskyj participation open

It was unclear until Wednesday evening whether Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj would personally attend the summit. Selenskyj had recently traveled to the Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia and the G7 meeting in Japan. Moldova is only a few hours by train from Kiev.

Germany will be represented at the summit by Chancellor Olaf Scholz. It is his first trip to the former Soviet republic since he took office almost 18 months ago.

The choice of the summit location is a signal of solidarity with the small country between Romania and Ukraine, where Russia is trying to exert its influence. The Russian leadership in Moscow is accused of deliberately wanting to destabilize the EU candidate country. The breakaway region of Transnistria in the east of the country on the Ukrainian border has been ruled by pro-Russian separatists for decades.

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