Macron promises to protect Moldova’s security
President Sandu affirms her country’s determination to acquire EU membership
French President Emmanuel Macron assured his Moldovan counterpart Thursday to support the eastern European country's security, given the risk of war in Ukraine spreading to the neighboring region.
“The unacceptable aggression of Ukraine by Russia constitutes a threat for the whole region and in particular for Moldova," Macron told reporters outside the Elysee in Paris, flanked by Moldova's President Maia Sandu.
Conceding the likeliness of the war spreading to the neighboring countries, he promised her that France will support Moldova in the long-term and be "particularly attentive to the security and territorial integrity.”
He also applauded Chisinau's support to offer refuge to the Ukrainians fleeing the war. “As a neighbor of Ukraine, your country faces a difficult situation. The generosity of the Moldovan people towards the Ukrainians is admirable. We will continue to support you,” Macron said on Twitter.
Over 6.3 million people have fled Ukraine since the war began in February, out of which more than 466,000 have so far been hosted by Moldova, according to UN figures.
Sandu expressed hopes toward her country becoming a full-fledged member of the EU, and said it was determined to “undoubtedly have a European future.”
Moldova has close cooperation with the EU, but faces several hurdles in its ascension to the regional block, which includes Russia's support for the breakaway territory of Transnistria.
She backed Macron's “European political community” proposal for those countries awaiting EU membership – a long process that can take decades to grant full membership. The initiative would support and speed up our process of joining the EU, Sandu said during her speech.
Chisinau followed Ukraine in making a formal application for EU membership on March 3, days after Russia launched the war it says is meant to "denazify" and "demilitarize" Ukraine.