EU pledges $250M to Moldova to tackle acute energy crisis

Nov 10, 2022, 4:05 AM | Updated: 4:59 am
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, shakes hands with Moldovan President Maia...

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, shakes hands with Moldovan President Maia Sandu after a joint press conference in Chisinau, Moldova, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Aurel Obreja)

(AP Photo/Aurel Obreja)

CHISINAU, Moldova (AP) — European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen paid an official visit to Moldova Thursday, where she announced a 250 million-euro (-dollar) support package to help the small nation overcome an acute winter energy crisis amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The EU chief said that Moldova, which neighbors Ukraine, will receive 100 million euros in grants and the same amount again in loans from the 27-nation bloc to help it meet its gas needs this winter, starting Jan. 1. An additional 50 million euros will help the country’s most vulnerable citizens, she said.

“European solidarity with the Republic of Moldova is unshakable,” von der Leyen said at a news conference in the capital, Chisinau, after meeting with pro-Western President Maia Sandu. “We assure you that we will do our best to help you through this crisis.”

Moldova, which has a population of about 2.6 million, is entirely dependent on Russia for its natural gas. But Russia has used that dependence to pressure the country over its alignment with the West and in recent weeks halved its gas supplies, triggering an unprecedented energy crisis as winter begins to grip.

Sandu has said that Moscow’s decision to reduce supplies amounts to “political blackmail” in the country where household energy tariffs have increased six-fold in the past year amid skyrocketing inflation.

“We are facing the worst energy crisis in three decades,” Sandu said Thursday. “A crisis in which energy resources are being used as weapons against democracy.”

“Only together, in solidarity, will we be able to survive the coming winter and preserve our freedom and a peaceful and democratic future,” Sandu added.

In June, Moldova was granted EU candidate status, but the country likely won’t obtain full membership for years, since it is conditional on a series of reforms in areas such as tackling corruption, organized crime and strengthening human rights and the rule of law.

“We want to bring Moldova into the safe and prosperous space of the European Union,” Sandu said, “where human life and freedom are supreme values … and states are not attacked for the development path they choose.”

Von der Leyen also said Thursday that a donors’ meeting will be held in Paris later this month, to help Moldova purchase energy resources. “Moldova is part of our European family. And family must stick together when the times are getting tough and difficult,” she said.

On Friday, the European Parliament President Roberta Metsola will also pay an official visit to Moldova.

___

McGrath reported from Sighisoara, Romania.

____

Follow AP’s coverage of the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen listens during a joint press conference with Moldovan President Maia Sandu in Chisinau, Moldova, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Aurel Obreja)
            
              European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a joint press conference with Moldovan President Maia Sandu in Chisinau, Moldova, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Aurel Obreja)
            
              European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, shakes hands with Moldovan President Maia Sandu after a joint press conference in Chisinau, Moldova, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Aurel Obreja)
            
              European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, shakes hands with Moldovan President Maia Sandu after a joint press conference in Chisinau, Moldova, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Aurel Obreja)
            
              European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during a joint press conference with the Moldovan President Maia Sandu in Chisinau, Moldova, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Aurel Obreja)
            
              European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, shakes hands with Moldovan President Maia Sandu after a joint press conference in Chisinau, Moldova, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022. (AP Photo/Aurel Obreja)

AP

A woman pumps gas at a GetGo Mini Mart in Valencia, Pa., on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. On Tuesday, the ...
Associated Press

US consumer confidence lags as 2023 gets under way

American consumers are kicking off 2023 a bit less confident than they were at the end of last year as inflation and the possibility of a recession loom. The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index slipped to a still-optimistic 107.1 in January, down from 109 in December. Last month’s reading was the […]
10 hours ago
The Southern Poverty Law Center's Esteban Gil poses for a portrait at Jefferson Recreation Center i...
Associated Press

Why workers at growing number of nonprofits are unionizing

Over his six years at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Esteban Gil watched colleague after colleague leave. Part of it was the nature of the work: helping people in immigrant detention and in prison. It is high-stakes, high-stress work. But there was also something deeply wrong with the way the group operated and the very […]
10 hours ago
FILE - Abortion-rights protestors march between the Indiana Statehouse and the Indiana State Librar...
Associated Press

Indiana justices won’t hear 2nd abortion case for now

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s high court said it will not immediately consider a challenge to the state’s abortion ban that is based on the argument that the law violates some people’s religious freedoms, leaving that decision to an appeals court, at least for now. The state Supreme Court issued an order Monday saying the state […]
10 hours ago
Wellwishers run after Pope Francis following his arrival in Kinshasa, Congo, Tuesday Jan. 31, 2023....
Associated Press

Pope’s Africa trip spotlights conflict, and church’s future

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Pope Francis began a six-day visit to Congo and South Sudan on Tuesday, aiming to bring a message of peace to two countries riven by poverty, conflict and what Francis has called a lingering “colonialist mentality” that still considers Africa ripe for exploitation. Francis landed at Kinshasa’s airport and was greeted […]
10 hours ago
FILE - A logo on a vehicle at a Ford dealership in Springfield, Pa., Tuesday, April 26, 2022. The U...
Associated Press

US probes complaints of parts flying off of Ford Explorers

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government’s road safety agency is investigating complaints that windshield trim panels can fly off of Ford Explorers while they’re traveling at highway speeds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 164 complaints about the trim pieces detaching on 2011 through 2019 Explorer SUVs. The probe covers about 1.86 […]
10 hours ago
FILE - Elon Musk departs the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Court House in San F...
Associated Press

Justice Department seeks Tesla automated driving documents

The U.S. Justice Department has requested documents from Tesla Inc. related to its Autopilot and “Full Self-Driving” features, according to a regulatory filing. “To our knowledge no government agency in any ongoing investigation has concluded that any wrongdoing occurred,” Tesla said in the filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Austin, Texas-based electric […]
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.
...
Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
EU pledges $250M to Moldova to tackle acute energy crisis