Donor conference for Moldova: Millions against Putin

Gas and electricity are missing, prices are exploding. So that Moldova remains stable, a lot of money from the EU should help.

Baerbock in a red dress and the foreign ministers of Moldova, France and Romania

Baerbock and the foreign ministers of Moldova, France and Romania Photo: Michel Euler/ap

the international donor conference for Moldova was faced with difficult omens: 1.1 billion euros are due for increased energy costs alone, and there are also high expenses for at least 80,000 people who have fled Ukraine. Above all, there is growing concern in Europe’s poorest country that Russia could claim Moldova as part of its zone of influence. Russian troops are already showing an increased presence in the separatist region of Transnistria on the border with Ukraine.

However, what is currently causing the people in Moldova the most trouble is the lack of gas and electricity to get them through the winter. “With the brutal destruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure, Russia is not only hitting Ukraine hard. Putin’s plan to hand people over to the cold in winter also affects neighboring Moldova,” said Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD).

At the third donor conference for Moldova since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, a sign of solidarity should be set, but money should also flow. Around 600 million euros in aid have been collected so far.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Greens) has already pledged a further 32 million euros for Germany. The money is to go into the expansion of renewable energies and infrastructure, generators are to be bought, but the support is also to benefit the Ukrainian refugees. “Any aid we receive is an investment in stability, not only in Moldova but in Europe,” said Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu.

40 percent of the power plants damaged

The EU heads of state and government granted Moldova the status of an EU accession candidate in June. The ones from the German Development Ministry already promised 40 million Euros for an energy fund for Moldova are to be paid out shortly. The development ministry’s support package totals around 140 million euros.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian authorities have started evacuating civilians from recently retaken areas of the Kherson region. The infrastructure has been so massively destroyed that it will be difficult for people to survive the winter there, Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Wereschuk said on Monday. The same applies to the neighboring province of Mykolaiv.

The evacuation began just over a week after Ukrainian troops took the provincial capital Cherson recaptured had. Across the country, more than 40 percent of energy systems are damaged and millions of Ukrainians are without electricity, heating and water. As was also announced on Monday, Norway is supporting Ukraine with the equivalent of almost 191 million euros in the purchase of gas.

According to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal, there are currently 14 billion cubic meters of natural gas in storage. Sufficient for the heating period. However, since Russia is attacking the critical infrastructure, further resources would have to be tapped.

Terror State Russia

The authorities installed by Russia in the more occupied parts of Cherson also called for evacuations. In the Kakhovsky district there is an “increased military threat” they said and called on people to go to evacuation points. Russia has established defensive positions on the east side of the Dnieper and fears advances by Ukrainian troops across the river.

The NATO parliamentary assembly on Monday called for the creation of a special international tribunal and recognized Russia as a terrorist state. Last week, the parliamentary groups in the European Parliament agreed on a joint resolution that recognizes Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism.

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