MAIA SANDU, President of the Republic of Moldova, urged the international community to continue supporting Ukraine as that country, Moldova, Europe and the free world face an external assault on their values. “But countries like mine haven’t broken free from imperial chains only to be brought back into servitude,” she said. While the Republic of Moldova does not face an imminent military threat, each day it counters the Russian Federation’s hybrid assault as it works with corrupt crooks to destabilize the country. This hybrid toolbox includes energy blackmail, support for separatism, sponsoring mass anti-government protests, cyber-attacks and disinformation campaigns. “They also tried to overthrow our democratically elected government. But each time, they have failed,” she said, adding another attempt will undoubtedly be made during upcoming elections. Many countries in Europe are facing the same foreign interference in their democratic processes. “This hybrid assault is conducted by those who oppose not just our democracy, but all liberal democracies. We must stay vigilant. And we must stand united,” she said.
The Republic of Moldova has preserved peace across all of its regions, including the breakaway Transnistrian region, where Russian troops are stationed illegally and where concerns about human rights violations are deeply worrying, she said. Her Government remains committed to a peaceful resolution and calls for the unconditional withdrawal of Russian forces. To build resilience, the country has moved from relying solely on Russian gas to a mix of energy sources and backup storage as it builds electricity lines to Europe, invests in energy efficiency and purses renewable sources. Noting that the true measure of a democracy’s success rests on its ability to deliver a better life and real economic benefits to its citizens, she said strengthening the country’s economy as war rages across the border is a daunting challenge. “But we are determined,” she added.
Small and medium-sized enterprises can now access funds to grow; digital public services are helping to cut red tape; the European Union market is open to exports of the country’s fruit and vegetables. Inflation is down to 10 per cent from a peak of 35 per cent last October and a major ratings agency has upgraded the country’s outlook to stable. The Republic of Moldova is also comprehensively reforming its justice system and redoubling efforts to defeat corruption and organized crime. She thanked Member States for imposing sanctions on fugitive oligarchs who at one time captured the country. She pointed to its improvement, by 24 places, on corruption perception measured by the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, and its advancement on the Rule of Law Index, part of the World Justice Project, by 14 places since 2020. Economic progress, improving security and reinforcing its democracy are part of the Republic of Moldova’s journey towards membership in the European Union, which is the only way to protect the country’s liberty, peace and democracy.
She noted the Republic of Moldova’s contribution to regional and global security, such as Moldovan servicemen working with United Nations peacekeeping missions. The enlargement of the European Union is the sole path to ensure the region stays anchored in the free world and delivers better lives for its citizens. “It will also demonstrate the union’s commitment to peace — the very reason the EU was built,” she said, adding that the success or downfall of one democracy resonates globally. “When one thrives, it inspires hope in others; when one falters, it risks a domino effect,” she said. “Today, the fight for democracy anywhere is a fight for democracy everywhere. And in this interlinked fight for democracy, we will prevail.”
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