24 Jan 2024 12:02

Moldovan FM resigns

CHISINAU. Jan 24 (Interfax) - Moldovan Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration and Deputy Prime Minister Nicu Popescu has announced his resignation.

"I announce my resignation with a feeling of deep satisfaction. Fundamental tasks facing Moldova have been accomplished over the past two and a half years. We managed to firmly and irrevocably put Moldova on the path of European integration. We managed to steer Moldova out of its most shameful period, when diplomacy served the oligarchs," Popescu said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

"Few people could have believed two and a half years ago that we would be able to obtain EU candidate status, begin EU accession talks and host a European Political Community summit in Moldova, which was attended by 48 heads of state and government," he said.

Popescu believes that he has fulfilled the tasks set for him.

"I need a pause. But together with [Moldovan] President Maia Sandu, I will continue to contribute to Moldova's movement along the path of European integration," he said.

Popescu's resignation will be accepted at a government meeting. Prime Minister Dorin Recean is expected to announce changes in the government's composition and propose new candidates for ministerial positions. In accordance with the changes, a proposal will be put forth to transform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration into the Foreign Ministry. The post of deputy prime minister for European integration will be introduced simultaneously. Recean is expected to suggest Mihail Popsoi, incumbent parliamentary deputy speaker and deputy chairman of the ruling Party of Action and Solidarity, as a candidate for foreign minister.

Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration Cristina Gherasimov is expected to be nominated for the post of deputy prime minister for European integration. She will be Chisinau's chief negotiator at the talks on Moldova's EU accession with Brussels.

Popescu served as the Sandu government's minister of foreign affairs and European integration from June to November 2019, and returned to the post in August 2021. Popescu is resigning of his own volition, as he believes he has accomplished the ministry's strategic objective of making Moldova an EU candidate country and launching accession talks. Following his resignation, Popescu will again become a political analyst and will move to Paris.