President Michel, dear Charles,
I am pleased to welcome you back in Chisinau.
Your visit comes at an important moment in the relationship of the Republic of Moldova and the European Union, but also in a complicated context for the region. I appreciate this sign of solidarity with the citizens of my country.
In the past ten weeks we have been living in the harsh reality of the war waged by Russia against Ukraine. The whole world is watching in horror at what is happening in the towns and villages of our neighboring country.
Moldova has strongly condemned this devastating war. We called for the restoration of peace from day one. Our citizens have opened their hearts and homes to offer shelter to Ukrainian refugees. More than 90 thousand still remain in our country. We count on the support of our partners so that we can continue to offer assistance to those fleeing the war.
In this context, we appreciate the assistance provided by the European Union for the management of the influx of refugees, in the form of grants, humanitarian donations and aid packages, totalling approximately 13 million euros.
The war in Ukraine has serious economic, social and humanitarian consequences for the Republic of Moldova.
We appreciate the European Commission's aid in the form of budget support programmes offered to our country to help us cope with the repercussions of the war.
We also count on the opening of the European market for Moldovan fruits and other products that can no longer access the Eastern markets, which have been closed due to the war.
Eliminating tariffs on Moldovan goods and expanding the categories of goods admitted to the European markets would be of great help to our entrepreneurs who have been affected by the war.
We also need carrier permits to cross the territory of the European Union for our freight carriers, who can no longer use the Eastern routes. In this regard, we appreciate the readiness of some Member States to offer us these permits.
We count on your support to help Moldova join the Single Euro Payments Area and integrate Moldovan mobile operators into the European roaming network. A deeper integration with the European markets will increase our economic resilience in the context of war.
We have a saying in the Republic of Moldova – a friend in need is a friend indeed. The European Union is a true friend of our country, this friendship has been confirmed over time and we have many areas of cooperation.
Since 17 March, we have been working together directly in the field of border management - more than 70 European police officers from the Frontex Mission are working alongside their Moldovan colleagues at various border crossing points. The European Border Monitoring Mission, EUBAM, continues its work in our country, and on 30 March, a EUROPOL team started a new mission in Moldova.
We appreciate the cooperation with the European Peace Facility, and EU’s support to strengthen the resilience of our country in the context of an information war.
We have a very important dialogue in the field of energy, which aims to strengthen our energy independence and efficiency. Moldova’s connection, together with Ukraine, to the European continental electricity grid, ENTSO-E, on 16 March, is an important step in that direction.
The Republic of Moldova needs investments to revive our economy hit by war, mitigate the consequences of the pandemic and alleviate the energy crisis. We look forward to the Economic Recovery Programme and the Eastern Partnership Investment Plan offered to Moldova in this regard, in the context of our cooperation with the European Union. But in order to seize all these opportunities, we must have peace.
Dear President Michel,
Despite the difficulties we face, our plans and intentions have not changed. We want to develop our country, we want to strengthen Moldova's resilience, stability and adaptability.
We want to build a strong state that can provide security and safety to its citizens. We want to provide quality services, we want to continue the justice sector reform and advance our efforts to fight corruption. To develop a modern economy and give our young people the chance to work and live at home.
Citizens of the Republic of Moldova want to live in peace and prosperity, in a country where their rights are respected. We have chosen European integration as our model for development. But the danger and uncertainty of the war next door showed us that we must defend our choice and walk firmly on the path we have chosen. That is why, on 3 March, the Republic of Moldova signed its application to join the European Union. We have thus confirmed our firm commitment to the European path.
On 22 April, we sent the first part of the completed EU accession questionnaire to the European Commission. In the coming days, we will complete the second part of the questionnaire. We hope to receive a positive opinion from the European institutions on Moldova's application for membership.
European integration is a complex and lengthy process, we understand that. We are not looking for shortcuts or procedural concessions. But we want to offer our citizens as soon as possible the future they deserve: a future in the family of European states.
Our plans can only be implemented if we have peace. Restoring peace is our priority now. The international community must act together, in a concerted and complementary manner, to restore peace and stability in our region and on the continent.
The war in Ukraine must be stopped. In the name of Ukraine, which is sacrificing itself today for our freedom and the freedom of all. And in the name of our common future - a peaceful, prosperous future in a world where there is no more room for such tragedies.