New European mission in Moldova

(To Antonino Lombardi)

Particularly delicate is the position of Moldova since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. Tensions in the Republic of Moldova and in particular in the self-proclaimed pro-Russian Republic of Transnistria have increased and since the beginning of this year there have been more and more acts of overt provocation by Moscow, with missiles crossing the airspace of the Republic of Moldova in the direction of Ukrainian territory.

In a letter to the high representative dated 28 January 2023, the prime minister of the Republic of Moldova invited the European Union to send a civilian mission to the country within the framework of the CSDP (Common Security and Defense Policy, ed.) and today, 24 April, the Council of the EU established the Civilian Partnership Mission in Moldova (EUPM Moldova).

The objective of this civilian mission is to enhance the resilience of the country's security sector in the areas of crisis management and hybrid threats, including cybersecurity, and counter foreign information manipulation and interference (FIMI).

EUPM Moldova will have an initial mandate of two years and the civilian commander will be Stefano Tomat while a head of mission will subsequently be appointed to direct field operations.

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said: “As one of the countries hardest hit by the fallout from Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, we are seeing increasing and continued Russian attempts to destabilize Moldova with hybrid actions. Today we are stepping up EU support to Moldova to protect its security, territorial integrity and sovereignty. The deployment of this new mission is another important political signal of EU support in the current difficult circumstances.”

The resignation of President Gavrilita on 10 February has aggravated the political instability of the country which on 3 March 2022 had formally requested to join the European Union and the new premier Dorin Recean has promised to follow up on this ambition. Last March, the president of the EU Council, Charles Michel, declared during a visit to Chisinau that he wanted to open negotiations for the country's accession to the Union by the end of the year.

Photo: Ministry of Internal Affairs of Moldova