M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, spoke today to Mr Nicu Popescu, Moldova’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration. Their discussion focused on the implementation of France’s action plan to support Moldova in dealing with the consequences of the war in Ukraine, which was prepared following the Minister’s on-the-spot visit on 3 March. The two ministers prepared for the meeting of the Council of the European Union on 21 March, in which Mr Popescu will participate.
In the humanitarian sphere, through the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM), France is providing Moldova with 37 tonnes of emergency equipment to take in refugees fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, as well as nearly 10,000 hygiene kits.
In the energy sphere, the Minister announced that 17 large-capacity generators would be sent to Moldova in the coming days, intended to strengthen the electricity resilience of Moldova’s health system. The company Enedis has offered seven units and 10 others have been purchased with donations from local authorities and businesses which were paid into the dedicated support fund set up by the Ministry. Four volunteers from the NGO Electriciens sans frontières [Electricians without borders] will be deployed on the ground to get the generators up and running.
M. Le Drian highlighted the involvement of the French presidency of the Council of the European Union in considerably speeding up Moldova’s connection – in the same way as Ukraine’s – to the European Network of Transmission System Operators. The connection has been live since 16 March. We are also continuing our efforts to help diversify Moldova’s hydrocarbon supply sources and support its energy security policies.
In the area of economic support, France backs the mobilization of European aid, in particular macro-financial assistance to the tune of €150 million. At bilateral level, France will also provide a public policy loan of €50 million from the French Development Agency and release a new bilateral loan of €15 million for Moldova. These financial measures will enable Moldova to deal with the economic consequences of the conflict in Ukraine.
With regard to managing borders and taking care of refugees, the French presidency of the Council of the European Union strongly backs speeding up the establishment of an agreement between the European Union and Moldova that will enable the Frontex agency to be deployed very quickly in support of the Moldovan authorities to deal with flows of people linked to the Ukraine war. France will contribute to this effort by sending border police personnel, who will carry out operational tasks alongside the other European contingents and the Moldovan authorities.
France will also contribute to the European solidarity effort in aid of refugees, by welcoming, in the coming days, people currently on Moldovan territory. Alongside our partners who have made similar commitments and in conjunction with the European institutions, we are coordinating the practical details of these relocation arrangements.