Budapest Post

Cum Deo pro Patria et Libertate
Budapest, Europe and world news

Moldova, fearing Russia, wants to join EU ‘as soon as possible’

Moldova, fearing Russia, wants to join EU ‘as soon as possible’

Moldova wants EU membership “as soon as possible” as protection against a threat from Russia and hopes for a decision to start negotiations “in the next months,” President Maia Sandu said in an interview.
The small nation of 2.6 million people, nestled between EU neighbor Romania and war-ravaged Ukraine, will on June 1 hold its first major summit of wider Europe.

That gathering of the European Political Community – a forum created last year that brings together leaders of all 27 EU countries with 20 neighbors of the bloc – will be an occasion for Moldova to burnish its candidate credentials.

For Sandu, EU membership is the only guarantee against becoming Russia’s next target.

Her country, a former Soviet republic, already has a breakaway region, Transnistria, where Russia has stationed a small number of troops.

“Of course, nothing compares to what is happening in Ukraine, but we see the risks and we do believe that we can save our democracy only as part of the EU,” she said.

“We do believe that Russia will continue to be a big source of instability for the years to come and we need to protect ourselves,” added Sandu, on the sidelines of a Council of Europe of summit in Iceland that wrapped up on Tuesday.

The 50-year-old leader, in office since 2020, in February accused Russia of fomenting a coup to try to seize power in Moldova.

She has called for Moldovans – who polls show are overwhelmingly behind joining the European Union – to hold a pro-EU rally on Sunday.

“The Ukraine war made things black and white. So it’s very clear what the free world means, and what the authoritarian world means, for all of us,” she said.

Russia’s war next door suddenly firmed up the prospect of EU membership for Ukraine and Moldova.

Both countries applied last year to join the bloc and in June 2022 became candidate countries, along with Georgia.

“We do believe that this is a realistic project for us and we are looking forward to see this happening as soon as possible,” Sandu said.

Membership, however, could take a decade or more to attain, given the long list of requirements candidate countries must meet to be able to sit alongside the other nations in the European single market.

Unlike Ukraine, Moldova is small enough to be able to be integrated into the European Union relatively easily.

But it faces several challenges to bring its democratic standards up to EU levels, notably in terms of fighting corruption.

Its fragile economy, energy security and the issue of Transnistria, with its 30,000 pro-Russian population, all need to be addressed as well.

Transnistria, in the east of Moldova, is not recognized by the international community. The zone sprang up in 1990 after a brief civil war that erupted when the Soviet Union collapsed, and ended up from 1992 as a frozen conflict.

“We are struggling to have peaceful resolution of the conflict, and we’ve been calling on Russia to withdraw its illegally stationed troops,” Sandu said.

“We need a geopolitical opportunity to be able to solve the conflict.”

The president, who has started the process of taking her country out of the Russia-dominated Commonwealth of Independent States, added: “What kind of relations can you have with a regime which kills innocent people in the neighboring country?”

Moldova was ready to cooperate only with “democratic countries, with countries which respect the territorial integrity of other countries, which respect the international rules based system,” she said.

Russia brandished Ukraine’s desire to one day join NATO as one of its justifications for invading its neighbor.

For Moldova, that is not a door on which it is about to knock.

Moldova was not rethinking its stance of being a neutral country for now, Sandu said.

“But there are discussions in our society about whether neutrality protects us and if at some point people will change their view, of course we will reconsider this decision. In the meantime, we are trying to consolidate the defense sector of Moldova and we are counting on our friends.”

For “friends” Moldova is leaning heavily on the other participating countries of the European Political Community.

The June 1 summit in Chisnau, Sandu said, “is important because we see that we are not alone, that we have many friends”.
Newsletter

Related Articles

0:00
0:00
Close
Farmers break through police barriers in Brussels.
Ukraine Arrests Father-Son Duo In Lockbit Cybercrime Bust
US Offers $15 Million For Info On Leaders Of Cybercrime Group Lockbit
Apple warns against drying iPhones with rice
Alexei Navalny: UK sanctions Russian prison chiefs after activist's death
German economy is in 'troubled waters' - ministry
In a recent High Court hearing, the U.S. argued that Julian Assange endangered lives by releasing classified information.
Tucker Carlson says Boris Johnson wants "a million dollars, in Bitcoin or cash, from Tucker Carlson to talk about Ukraine.
Russia is rebuilding capacity to destabilize European countries, new UK report warns
EU Commission wants anti-drone defenses at Brussels HQ
Von der Leyen’s 2nd-term pitch: More military might, less climate talk
EU Investigates TikTok for Child Safety Concerns
EU Launches Probe Into TikTok Over Child Protection Under Digital Content Law
EU and UK Announce Joint Effort on Migration
Ministers Confirm Proposal to Prohibit Mobile Phone Usage in English Schools
Avdiivka - Symbol Of Ukrainian Resistance Now In Control Of Russian Troops
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
"Historic Step": Zelensky Signs Security Pact With Germany
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has died at the Arctic prison colony
Tucker Carlson grocery shopping in Russia. This is so interesting.
France and Germany Struggle to Align on European Defense Strategy
‘A lot higher than we expected’: Russian arms production worries Europe’s war planners
Greece Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage and Adoption Rights
Russia "Very Close" To Creating Cancer Vaccines, Says Vladimir Putin
Hungarian Foreign Minister: Europeans will lose Europe, the Union's policy must change drastically
Microsoft says it caught hackers from China, Russia and Iran using its AI tools
US Rejects Putin's Ceasefire Offer in Ukraine
The Dangers of Wildfire Smoke and Self-Protection Strategies
A Londoner has been arrested for expressing his Christian beliefs.
Chinese Women Favor AI Boyfriends Over Humans
Greece must address role in migrant vessel disaster that killed 600: Amnesty
Google pledges 25 million euros to boost AI skills in Europe
Hungarian President Katalin Novák Steps Down Amid Pardon Controversy
Activist crashes Hillary Clinton's speech, calls her a 'war criminal.'
In El Salvador, the 'Trump of Latin America' stuns the world with a speech slamming woke policing after winning a landslide election
Trudeau reacts to Putin's mention of Canadian Parliament applauding a former Ukrainian Nazi in his interview with Tucker Carlson.
The Spanish police blocked the farmers protest. So the farmers went out and moved the police car out of the way.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy fires top Ukraine army commander
Tucker Carlson's interview with Vladimir Putin raises EU concerns
Finnish Airline, Finnair, is voluntarily weighing passengers to better estimate flight cargo weight
Russia's Economy Expands by 3.6% Due to Increased Military Spending
Ukraine MPs Vote To Permit Use Of Dead Soldiers' Sperm
German Princess Becomes First Aristocrat To Pose Naked On Playboy Cover
UK’s King Charles III diagnosed with cancer
EU's Ursula von der Leyen Confronts Farmer Protests Amid Land Policy Debates
Distinguishing Between Harmful AI Media and Positive AI-Generated Content: A Crucial Challenge for the EU
Tucker Carlson explains why he interviewed Putin
Dutch farmers are still protesting in the Netherlands against the government, following the World Economic Forum's call for 'owning nothing.'
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stands up for European farmers and says, 'Brussels is suffocating European farmers.
This farmer seems to understand science a bit more than the event organizer, Klaus Schwab.
×