support The objective this Monday is to provide emergency aid to Moldova to get through the winter while accompanying it towards membership of the 'EU
The President of Moldova Maia Sandu, in Chisinau on November 10, 2022. — Rodion Proca/SPUTNIK/SIPA
This Monday, 45 international delegations representing the European Union, the United States as well as international organizations and international financial institutions will try to help Moldova. Paris will therefore host an international conference in support of this neighboring country of Ukraine with the immediate objective of providing emergency aid to help it get through the winter while accompanying it on the way to joining the EU. the EU.
Moldova, a country of 2.6 millions of inhabitants, has been a candidate since the end of June. entry into the EU, suffered the full brunt of the consequences of the war, in particular in terms of energy, when the Russian company Gazprom reduced by half its energy consumption. its gas exports to Chisinau. The “international support platform for Moldova” has been launched at the initiative of Germany, France and Romania. Two editions have already been released. unrolled, the first to Berlin in March, the second to Bucharest in July.
A country that cannot store gas
This third meeting is of particular importance with the onset of winter and “blackmail with Russian gas”, summarizes a French diplomatic source. In addition to the lack of Russian gas supplies, Moldova is facing a power outages linked to strikes on Ukrainian energy infrastructure. Additionally, it has no gas storage capabilities.
Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu assessed to 1.1 billion euros the need for additional financing to cover the country’s additional energy costs this winter. His government turned to to Romania to buy gas from low prices but the country remains extremely vulnerable. In addition, the “country is threatened; militarily” with the presence of Russian soldiers on Moldovan territory, in the pro-Russian separatist region of Transnistria.
And economically, Moldova has had to host many Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war. “Some have left, but Moldova still has around 80,000 Ukrainian refugees” that we must help, according to Nicu Popescu.
A membership to the EU which “will take time”
The conference, which will take place under the aegis of the French Minister for Foreign Affairs; res Catherine Colonna and her German counterparts Annalena Baerbock and Romanian Bogdan Aurescu, will be closed by Emmanuel Macron and Moldovan President Maia Sandu. New financial commitments should be made there after the approximately 600 million euros announced in previous editions.
In the longer term, Paris will have in head of placing Moldova on the path of reforms and bringing it up to European standards with a view to its accession to the the EU, which “will take time,” warns the diplomatic source. The French President will discuss security issues bilaterally with Maia Sandu.