A donor conference to help Moldova cope with the impact of the Ukraine war and soaring food and energy prices.
Diplomats from around 45 countries and organizations are calling for money and other assistance for Europe’s poorest country, Moldovaexperiencing widespread power outages, large influxes of refugees, and potential security threats from war in neighboring Ukraine.
According to the French Foreign Ministry, Monday’s international aid conference in Paris is aimed at “concrete and immediate assistance” to the landlocked former Soviet republic.
Two previous conferences for Moldova this year raised hundreds of millions of euros (hundreds of millions of dollars), but as the war dragged on, its demand grew.
“This international support is all the more important because Moldova is currently facing an unprecedented energy crisis that, with winter approaching, threatens to lead to a humanitarian crisis for people of Moldova,” the ministry said.
Massive power outages temporarily hit more than half a dozen Moldovan cities last week as the Russian military attacked infrastructure targets across Ukraine.
Moldova’s Soviet-era energy systems are still connected to Ukraine’s systems, which is why the Russian missile attack triggered an automatic shutdown of a supply line.
committed $260 million
Earlier this month, the European Union pledged 250 million euros (nearly $260 million) in support of Moldova after Russia halved its natural gas supplies.
Moldova’s energy crisis worsened when Transnistria – a Moscow-backed breakaway region of Moldova with an important power plant – also cut power to other parts of the country.
Rising energy costs and soaring inflation will put huge pressure on consumers in the country of about 2.6 million people as the cold season kicks in.
Moldova relied heavily on prewar Russian energy and increasingly sought to forge closer ties with the West.
It became a candidate for EU membership in June, along with Ukraine.
“Moldova has good friends, with whom we will manage to overcome the heavy costs of the war on the economy and the energy sector,” Nicu Popescu, Moldova’s foreign minister, wrote online. on Sunday. “Together, we will bring Moldova into the European Union.”
Maia Sandu, Moldova’s pro-Western president, will meet French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, November 21.