15 Mar 2023 12:22

EU to continue aiding Moldova to strengthen its defense sector - European commissioner

BRUSSELS. March 15 (Interfax) - The European Union is concerned about Moldova's security level and is making efforts to strengthen it, European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi said.

"Moldova remains on top of the EU's political agenda with our unwavering support of the country's security, territorial integrity, and sovereignty," Varhelyi said in a statement on the situation in Moldova at a European Parliament session in Strasbourg.

The European Union "has put together a comprehensive support package worth more than 1 billion euros to strengthen Moldova's resilience" over the past year, Varhelyi said.

"Moreover, the economic and investment plan for our Eastern Partners has a significant potential which needs to be fully tapped to support Moldova's reform agenda," he said.

"We are supporting the modernization of Moldova's defense sector [...] via providing 47 million euros [in 2022]," he said.

High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and European Commission Vice President Josep Borrell has proposed that the EU members maintain "a substantial level" of financing for Moldova in 2023, as well, Varhelyi said.

EU experts are supporting Moldova in opposing cyber and hybrid threats and disinformation, he said.

Varhelyi also mentioned Borrell's efforts toward preparing a possible civilian advisory mission to enhance Moldova's security.

"The Commission and EEAS [the European External Action Service] services, together with the member states, are also exploring possible new sanctions regime targeting individuals who seek to destabilize this country," he said.