Moldova requested its allies to assist it in strengthening its air defense capabilities during the conflict in Ukraine. On Thursday, President Maia Sandu (pictured), stated that Russian attempts to destabilize the country have failed so far.
Sandu stated that she had asked for air surveillance and defense system. In a sideline interview at Davos’ World Economic Forum, Sandu stated that she had requested air surveillance and defense systems. She stated that although we understand Ukraine’s priority, it is still our hope to obtain some.
Ukraine’s neighbor to the west, ex-Soviet republic Moldova, has a modest defense budget and has been in conflict with Moscow for a long time. Russia has troops and peacekeepers stationed in Transdniestria. This separatist statelet in Moldova has survived for more than three decades because of the Kremlin.
Since the Russian invasion, the pro-Western Moldovan government strongly supported Kyiv. Only a week after Russian troops invaded Ukraine, it submitted a formal request to join the European Union.
Sandu said that the country has increased its military budget and that it is in talks with the EU about air defense systems. There are also bilateral discussions with allies. She said that the resistance of Russia in Ukraine made her believe the country was secure.
Moldova accused Moscow of trying to use its influence over the separatist movement in Transdniestria (a predominantly Russian-speaking region) to destabilize the rest Romania.
Sandu said that so-called destabilizing attempts have not succeeded so far and that neither side is interested in conflict.
She said that Russia attempted to mobilize both corrupt groups in Moldova and pro-Russian parties to overthrow government, parliament, presidency. It didn’t give in. She added that “We have been able to so far maintain stability.”
Separatist authorities blame many explosionson Ukraine in the last year. The separatist authorities denied any connection. The Russian foreign ministry said that Moscow didn’t want to create an environment in which it would need to intervene in the region.
Because of power shortages caused by Moscow’s attack on Ukraine’s power infrastructure, Moldova is also trying get Russian gas. Gazprom, Russia’s largest supplier of gas, has been cutting supply.
Sandu stated that “Today the right bank gets gas on to the market, while Gazprom is used in Transdniestria, so we can finally declare that Moldova is not dependent upon Russian gas.”
She stated that while high prices may not be beneficial, the country has winter supplies and will continue to seek long-term deals with other suppliers.
The EU accepted Moldova in June as a candidate to join its ranks. The EU also granted the same status to Ukraine. This was a significant diplomatic victory for Sandu’s nation, which is one of Europe’s poorest and faces many economic problems.
Sandu stated that the country will need at least EUR600million of budget support from international community in 2023. This is similar to what it did last year to protect its people against inflation.
EU entry is a complicated and long process that aligns local laws. This includes a critical reform to the justice system in order to fight corruption. Sandu expressed his confidence in the possibility of making changes.
She stated that “EU integration was our most important project and our only chance to survive as a democracy during this complex time and in such a difficult region.”
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