German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in Bucharest on Friday that the Republic of Moldova “is not alone” and announced an additional grant for the country, worth up to 77 million euros. In his turn, the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, said that “the budget of the Republic of Moldova is under enormous pressure”.
Baerbock attended the Ministerial Conference of the Support Platform for the Republic of Moldova, a Germany-France-Romania initiative, together with his Romanian counterpart, Bogdan Aurescu, and the Secretary of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships of France, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou.
The German Foreign Minister recalled that the Platform was inaugurated three months ago, in Berlin, and mentioned the current status of the Republic of Moldova – a candidate state for accession to the European Union. “I was glad that we were able to initiate this platform with our friends from Romania and France, which shows that Europe is strong, especially in times of crisis,” she said before the conference began.
In his turn, the head of diplomacy in Bucharest, Bogdan Aurescu, told the participants that there is no “luxury” of wasting precious time and stressed the importance of offering direct grants.
“The world has changed dramatically since the outbreak of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. We do not know how long Ukraine and the Ukrainian people will have to suffer in their struggle to defend their independence and their sovereign and legitimate right to choose their future freely. With each new day, we see the terrible effects of the war, especially on the civilian population. I strongly condemn the brutal attack committed yesterday in Vinnytsia – an unacceptable, outrageous act and a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law”, said Aurescu.
He underlined that, every day, “war sends shockwaves far beyond Ukraine’s borders.” “And these are particularly severe for the Republic of Moldova – a vulnerable and exposed state, located in the immediate vicinity of the epicenter of the war,” he added. The Romanian FM also pointed out that even before the war, the Republic of Moldova was already facing a serious energy crisis.
The German Foreign Minister in her turn spoke about the situation in the Republic of Moldova, prior to the military conflict. “Moldova was in a critical situation. When I visited your country, I was talking about what it would mean if you were no longer supplied with energy, what it would mean if Russia did not use tanks, but hybrid warfare, to destroy your country “, she said.
The French official, in turn, announced that the next conference of this platform will be organized in Paris, until the end of the year. “We are here because we need international support for this country,” said Chrysoula Zacharopoulou.
Before the beginning of the debates, the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, had an online intervention. “It is important to know that we are not alone, that we can count on you. Moldova is a small country, and the magnitude of the events exceeds its capacity to cope“, Maia Sandu underlined.