German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday assured Moldova of Berlin’s support on its path to accession to the European Union as Moldovan and American officials allege Russia of trying to weaken the government in Chisinau.
“Moldova is part of our European family. In the summer, we granted it candidate status. And I very much welcome how resolutely Moldova has tackled the necessary reforms that are indispensable for EU accession,” Scholz told a news conference in Bucharest, Romania alongside Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Moldovan President Maia Sandu.
“Moldova can be sure of our support on this path. I assured the President [Sandu] of this once again today. Moldova does not stand alone, but receives massive international support,” the German chancellor continued.
Scholz expressed “great concern” about reports of alleged Russian attempts to destabilize Moldova and said Germany would do its “utmost” to support Moldova in arming itself against “attempts of destabilization by Russia.”
In February, Moldova’s President Sandu accused Russia of planning to use “saboteurs who have undergone military training and are disguised as civilians” to destabilize the country — claims which were rejected by Russia’s foreign ministry as “unfounded.”
According to White House officials, the US believes that Russia is working to weaken the Moldovan government, as it continues to seek closer ties with the European Union.
“The sovereignty and territorial integrity of any state is inviolable. This requirement of the Helsinki Final Act and other agreements under international law was also signed by Russia. And it is still valid. Therefore, we do our utmost to support Moldova in arming itself against attempts of destabilization by Russia,” Scholz said.
Speaking at the same event, Sandu said that “it is very important, and I am happy that Moldova is a dialogue partner with Romania and Germany. The projects we are involved in together are very useful for our people and will strongly lead us to the accession (to the European Union).”
CNN’s Radina Gigova, Anna Chernova and Natasha Bertrand contributed reporting to this post.