Monday, June 5, 2023

Moldova wants to join the EU “as soon as possible” to protect itself from Russia, its president told AFP

Moldovan President Maia Sandu on May 17, 2023 in Reykjavik, where the Council of Europe Summit of State and Government is being held

Moldova wants to join the European Union (EU) “as soon as possible” to shield itself from threats from Russia and hopes to set the start of negotiations “in the coming months”, its president told AFP. said in an interview.

“We believe that we can save our democracy only if we are part of the European Union,” said Maia Sandu of Iceland, where she attended the Europe summit.

The President of Moldova said, “Russia will remain a major source of instability in the coming years and we must protect ourselves.”

The tiny country of 2.6 million people, sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, will hold a major summit on June 1 that will bring together the leaders of the 27 EU countries along with 20 of the bloc’s neighbours.

In February, the president of this former Soviet republic accused Russia of planning a coup against his country.

Sandu, who has led Europe’s poorest country since 2020, called a huge pro-EU rally on Sunday to show Moldovan support for joining the EU.

Sandu said, “The war in Ukraine has made things very clear: now we see clearly what the free world means and what the authoritarian world means.”

The Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 raised the previously unlikely hypothesis of Ukraine and Moldova joining the EU in the medium term.

“We believe that (the merger) is a realistic project and we hope that it will happen as soon as possible,” he said, adding that he expected the start of negotiations to be decided “in the coming months”.

The European Union granted Ukraine official candidate status in June 2022, but called for further reforms, particularly in the fight against corruption.

Moldova, for its part, must resolve its serious economic and corruption problems, and find a solution to the situation in separatist Transnistria, a pro-Russia region of 300,000 inhabitants in the country’s east that is under Russian control.

“We still have pending issues, but we are working very hard and this is our main objective,” stressed Sandu, whose country withdrew from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) led by Russia after the collapse of the USSR. started withdrawal.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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