Thank you so much President Sandu, dear Maia,
I came here today to this beautiful country to show you and to show the people of Moldova that the European Union stands firmly by your side. Indeed, Russia continues to wage its brutal war against Ukraine, our neighbour, targeting essential infrastructure – electricity, heating, water – in despicable acts of cruelty, and creating chaos on global energy markets with its weaponising of energy.
This also threatens the Republic of Moldova. But please know that European solidarity with Moldova is unshakable. Just as the Moldovan people have shown unshakable solidarity with the Ukrainian refugees. You opened your arms; you opened your doors to the people fleeing the war. Almost 600,000 Ukrainian refugees have passed through your country. Around 80,000 remain in Moldova. Moldova is showing, once again, its attachment to the values that are at the heart of the European Union. A small country with a big heart.
And I am very pleased that Moldova is now a candidate country to the European Union. You deserve it. This is a clear acknowledgement of Moldova’s decisive, pro-European and reform-oriented agenda. This is all the more impressive when you consider the extremely challenging circumstances your country faces because of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Rest assured, we are accompanying you in this process.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we have been your closest partner. We have had many phone calls, many meetings. In the past year alone, the European Union provided over EUR 840 million in loans and grants to Moldova. Now the Republic of Moldova is facing an acute energy crisis, related to both the supply of gas and electricity, and the affordability of gas and electricity. Rest assured, we are doing everything we can to help you face this crisis.
Therefore, we have put together an additional energy support package for the Republic of Moldova. First, we are pledging EUR 200 million to help Moldova meet its gas supply needs. This will consist of EUR 100 million in grants and EUR 100 million in loans. The money should be available from January 2023. Secondly, we will provide an additional EUR 50 million for budgetary support to Moldova. This will help provide support to those most vulnerable so that this is a targeted budgetary support.
Finally, we will of course work closely with donors to provide additional support to Moldova through the Moldova Support Platform. The Support Platform will meet on 21 November in Paris. In this context, the Commission is working with the Energy Community Secretariat to put in place an energy rescue scheme for Moldova to allow donors to support energy purchases. I hope that these measures combined will give Moldova much-needed support as it goes through the winter.
Looking ahead to our common future, Moldova is not only our neighbour, our partner and a close friends, but of course also a candidate for membership in the European Union. Moldova is part of our European family. And family must stick together when the times are getting tough and difficult. That is why I am here today.
Dear Maia, thank you very much for having me here.
Source – EU Commission