The Republic of Moldova wants to join the European Union “as soon as possible” to protect itself from threats from Russia and hopes for a decision “in the next few months” regarding the start of negotiations, President Maia Sandu said in an interview on Thursday, May 18, with France 24 (AFP).
“Of course, nothing compares to what is happening in Ukraine, but we see the risk from Russia and believe that we can save our democracy only if we become part of the EU,” Maia Sandu said.
The former Soviet republic of 2.6 million sees its EU membership as its only guarantee that it won’t be Russia’s next target in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Russia will remain a big source of instability in the coming years, and we must defend ourselves,” the President of Moldova said on the sidelines of the Council of Europe summit, which ended on Wednesday in Iceland.
In February, Maia Sandu accused Russia of preparing a coup d’état to overthrow the legally elected government in Chisinau.
“We believe that accession is a realistic project, and we would be happy if it happens as soon as possible,” said Maia Sandu, hoping that “a decision to open negotiations will be made in the coming months.”
In June 2022, the EU granted Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova the status of official accession candidates.