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18 Mar, 2024 17:35

EU applicant is dependent on us – Romanian PM

Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu has said neighboring Moldova’s “only solution” is further integration with the bloc.
EU applicant is dependent on us – Romanian PM

Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu has endorsed Moldova’s pro-Western president’s reelection campaign, declaring that the former Soviet state would not exist without support from Bucharest.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu is seeking re-election this fall, promising to maintain her government’s pro-Western trajectory and make the country a full-fledged member of the EU by 2030. Despite just 22% of Moldova’s population expressing trust in Sandu, she is backed by multiple EU leaders, including Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu.

Sandu’s reelection “is the only solution for the Republic of Moldova to continue to have a European route,” Ciolacu told Romania’s Digi24 news outlet on Sunday.

“I want to remind you that Romanians live in the Republic of Moldova, only Romanians,” Ciolacu continued. “This state is sustainable thanks to the involvement of the Romanian state and of Romania. I think it is our duty as Romanians to continue to support our Romanians from the Republic of Moldova.”

More than 80% of Moldova’s 2.5 million people speak Romanian as their mother language and roughly a quarter of the population hold Romanian passports. However, while Sandu has spoken favorably about the country’s eventual unification with Romania, around two thirds of Moldovans oppose the idea. A majority of Moldova’s population also opposes joining NATO, while only a slim majority supports EU membership, according to a poll carried out earlier this month. 

Furthermore, the self-declared republic of Transnistria, located in eastern Moldova, is home to more than 200,000 Russian citizens. In 2006, 98% of Transnistrians voted to secede and pursue future integration with the Russian Federation.

Transnistrian legislators last month called on Moscow to take “measures to protect Transnistria amid mounting pressure from Moldova.” The Kremlin promised to “carefully consider” the request.

According to recent opinion polling, Sandu is nech-and-neck with socialist rival Igor Dodon, who favors closer relations with Russia. While Moldovans once associated Sandu with liberalization and prosperity, they now associate her with “poverty, arrogance, and anti-democratic abuse,” Dodon said in December.