United States to offer Moldova $50M to strengthen capacity to resist Russian interference

The United States is willing to help Moldova in countering cyber attacks by supporting a new academy and by strengthening the private sector that will promote new talents and new skills in the judicial sector, stated U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit to Chisinau on Wednesday.

Also, the U.S. wants to support the cleaning of the judicial system in Moldova. “We will work with Congress to provide an additional $50 million to further advance these efforts. This support will strengthen Moldova’s capacity to resist Russian interference, to hold free and fair elections, to continue its journey towards the EU and to pursue more economic opportunities”, said the American official at a news conference held in Chisinau together with President Maia Sandu.

Antony Blinken stated that two years ago, while also in Chisinau, he discussed with the Moldovan authorities how to continue building a dynamic Moldova, anchored in Europe, living in peace, with Moldovans who will decide their future. Despite the difficulties, concrete steps have been taken to fulfill this vision. “Today we want to continue these advances and will soon conclude negotiations for a new embassy headquarters. I think it will be a symbol of the depth of our relationship and provide a basis for deepening those relations and continuing to move forward together”, the U.S. official said.

The U.S. Secretary of State says that he felt a very strong commitment to democracy in Chisinau. This happens despite a campaign of intimidation, of Russian interference, of spreading disinformation, of using corruption as a weapon, of fabricating anti-government protests, but still an extraordinary resilience is visible on the part of the leadership of Moldova, especially on the part of the people.

“The US and many of our and your partners use sanctions against those who try to undermine Moldova’s democracy. We want to help Moldova counter cyber attacks by supporting a new academy and also strengthening the private sector, which will have new talents and new skills in the judicial sector. Today, we also want to support you in cleaning up the judicial system”, said Antony Blinken.

President Maia Sandu stated that today’s visit reconfirms the excellent relations between Moldova and the United States and is a strong sign of support for Moldova and for the path of peace, democracy and prosperity that our country has chosen. “The last time you visited us was two years ago, in March 2022, when tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees were crossing our borders in search of a refuge away from the bombings of the Russian army. You were among the first high-ranking officials to visit Moldova in those difficult moments and you continued to be by our side”, declared Maia Sandu.

According to her, throughout this difficult period, since the war returned to our content, we managed here in Moldova to maintain peace, stability and tranquility despite attempts to destabilize the situation by those who want to hurt our country. This was achieved also due to the fact that Moldova is not alone, thanks to the support it receives from the free and democratic world.

The president said that Moldova did not just wait to be helped, but strengthened its security, and from a total dependence on Russian energy resources, today the country buys natural gas from several sources, including the U.S., having several options. Moldova is also building power lines to connect to the European grid, and one of them will be financed by USAID.

“We live in times when the natural desire of people to live in freedom and peace is put to the test by the opponents of democracy. Our neighbors and friends in Ukraine pay a terrible price every day for the simple aspiration to be free. Their brave fight is a fight for the freedom of us all. Thank you for supporting Ukraine. Through its resistance, Ukraine protects our peace here in Moldova, and support for Ukraine also means support for the security of the Republic of Moldova. Our neighbors, Ukraine and the European Union, need a strong and democratic Moldova, which is a reliable partner and security provider, not a gray area”, said Maia Sandu.

This is Antony Blinken’s second visit to Moldova after the one in March 2022.

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