President Charles Michel, welcome to Chisinau. Your decision to visit our country is a clear signal of support from the European Union for our citizens. Thank you for being by Moldova’s side during this difficult time. Moldova is not alone in the face of the pandemic and that gives us hope that we will return to normalcy. The European Union is a true friend to our country.
I am glad that you accepted so swiftly my invitation to come to Chisinau. Your visit to the Republic of Moldova comes as a result of the fruitful discussions I had during my visit to Brussels in January, during which we succeeded to prove to our partners in the European institutions that they have a counterpart they can trust here.
Trust is the foundation of our good relationship. Having this trust, I signed the financing agreement with the European Commission regarding the “COVID-19 Resilience Contract for the Republic of Moldova” at the beginning of this week. We will make every effort to ensure that the 15 million euros awarded by this contract go towards supporting those most affected by the pandemic crisis.
Because there is trust between us, Romania and Czechia donated significant quantities of medical equipment and personal protection items, which help Moldovan doctors be better equipped to fight the virus. Team Europe is here for Moldova. And our doctors are grateful for this help - as you yourself heard during the discussion we had with them earlier.
The health of Moldovan people is my number one priority at the moment. My team has been working tirelessly to bring the vaccine to our country from my first day in office as President. The first 21,600 doses donated by Romania arrived in the country yesterday, and we are confident that another 14,400 doses, delivered through the Covax platform, will arrive next week. They will go to the doctors and frontline workers fighting the pandemic. We received assurances from our friends in Romania that another 180,000 doses of vaccines would be delivered soon. We have signals from Lithuania that they are also willing to look for ways to help us get more vaccines. We are in daily contact with the Covax platform to ensure that the vaccines allocated for our country are identified and delivered as soon as possible.
You heard what the Moldovan doctors had to say today - these are brave, dedicated people, who are now on the brink of exhaustion. It is my duty to make sure that the sacrifice of these people is not in vain, that we will get over this pandemic as soon as possible, that we protect the lives of doctors and of all the citizens of the Republic of Moldova. That is why I ask for your support in ensuring that we meet the vaccination needs of my country.
In December 2020, you launched the idea of signing an international treaty on pandemics within the framework of the World Health Organization, which would help us prevent such health disasters in the future by working together - through solidarity, mobilization and collective action. We support this initiative that would help us save lives regardless of our country of birth. Pandemics do not stop at borders - only together are we able to overcome them.
We are also in a difficult political situation at the moment. People of my country have made their choice, they demand that the state be cleansed of corruption, they want justice reform, to the dismay of certain interest groups represented in the current Parliament. But I assure you, Mr President, that the changes that started in our society and in the political class are inevitable and irreversible. These changes are backed by the people. If we are to move quickly, justice reform and the fight against corruption need support in Parliament. The sooner we hold early parliamentary elections and install a government with full parliamentary support, the better for our citizens. This is another priority on our agenda.
We have an ambitious agenda for our relation with the European Union through the implementation of the Association Agreement. Together with the government team and our partners in the European Commission, we are also working on an economic recovery program for the Republic of Moldova. We are thankful for the European Commission's intention to support such a program in the context of planning EU’s external assistance for the next multiannual financial cycle.
I am glad that I also had the opportunity to speak today, during the extended meeting, with Mr. Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank. The EIB supports investment projects in very important areas for our people: drinking water, transport, agriculture, energy efficiency, development of small and medium enterprises. We are grateful for this support and we count on continuing our collaboration and on the help of the European Investment Bank in the enforcement of the economic recovery plan of our country.
My country has also benefited greatly from the Eastern Partnership programs. We would like to continue getting closer to the European family through this initiative - a success story of the European Union. I am sure that the priorities set by the European Commission for the coming years will help us overcome more easily the challenges we face internally, and use effectively the opportunities granted by our future and our European aspirations.
We are a European people, with a European vocation and a European future. And we know that only we can create that future through the things we do at home - through fighting corruption, continuing our work for the modernization of the country, and defending democratic values.