Romanian and Moldovan presidents meet in Bucharest, talks include energy security and Moldova’s EU path
Romanian president Klaus Iohannis welcomed Moldova's leader Maia Sandu at the Cotroceni Palace in Bucharest on Friday, July 29. The two officials discussed several topics of interest during their face-to-face meeting, including the effects of the war in Ukraine, energy security, and Moldova's European path.
"We had consistent, applied discussions, focusing on many topics of bilateral interest. And as it should be, taking into account the deep, lasting and sincere ties between Romania and the Republic of Moldova, we coordinate closely and together identify the best solutions and ways forward," the Romanian president said in the joint press conference with Maia Sandu.
He also congratulated president Sandu on Moldova's major step toward joining the European Union (namely obtaining the EU candidate status) and once again reiterated Romania's support in this journey.
"We know that Chisinau's road ahead, on the path to European integration, is not an easy one. Completing these stages will, however, lead to the consolidation of the rule of law and to a modern, prosperous society based on European democratic values," Iohannis said.
In her turn, Maia Sandu thanked Romania for supporting Moldova in its European endeavour. She said that European integration would mean "the consolidation of a society guided by the rule of law and respect for the rights of all people, joining the richest and most prosperous market, investments and new opportunities for citizens."
"Romania's support is all the more precious as it comes when we expect it the most. For more than 5 months, we have been living with the horrors of war by our side. Russia's war against Ukraine has thrown our region into uncertainty. Moldova is, after Ukraine, the country most affected by the war," Sandu also said.
She explained that the war destabilized the energy market and, with it, Moldova's energy security. That, combined with record inflation and the drought, made the situation even more difficult for Moldova.
"The combination of crises that the Republic of Moldova is now facing is a heavy burden for my country, a burden that we cannot carry alone," Sandu said.
"We must act with maximum urgency and look for alternative solutions to preserve the country's stability and get through the winter well. Moldova needs solutions for energy security now! We want to buy gas from Romania, and it's important to make this happen as soon as possible," she added.
On the same topic, Romania's leader Iohannis said the Iasi-Ungheni-Chisinau gas pipeline is an essential element in the energy security architecture of the Republic of Moldova.
"In this framework, in addition to connecting the Republic of Moldova to the European electricity grid, in March, the interconnection of the electricity grids of Romania and the Republic of Moldova has an obvious strategic relevance, and we agreed to take decisive steps in this direction," he added.
At the end of her statement, Maia Sandu said: "Romania has been by Moldova's side over the years, through thick and thin. I trust that the Moldovan-Romanian partnership will help us overcome the difficulties caused by the war in Ukraine. This unjust and bloody war must be stopped. Ukraine needs help to defend its people and its future. We are with the Ukrainians, we wish them victory and peace. Humanity, care, solidarity, and mutual help win in troubled times. We thank the Romanian authorities and citizens for standing by us."
(Photo source: Presidency.ro)