(VIDEO) Katarina Fried in an exclusive interview: “From a Swedish perspective, Moldova is part of the European family”

On the Swedish National Day, the Swedish Ambassador to Moldova Katarina Fried spoke in an exclusive interview for RLive TV about the prospects of Moldova’s accession to the European Union, Swedish and EU financial support for Moldova, and Russian hybrid threats to Moldova.

“The Republic of Moldova has taken significant steps in the EU integration process, and it’s getting closer to the big European family. Well, first of all, I have to say that Moldova has made some really good progress in the reform implementation and is very well ahead on the EU integration path. And for us, we see that this is also happening at the same time as your country is challenged by the Russian hybrid attacks, which makes it even more impressive. From the Swedish side, we like to see that EU integration process going forward and going well,” she said.

The ambassador emphasized that Sweden favors Moldova’s joining the European family.

“From a Swedish perspective, Moldova is part of the European family. And we would like to see Moldova as a full-fledged EU member state. But this is not our decision to make. It’s the Moldovan people that need to make that decision. And I think that the referendum that you are holding here in October will be an excellent opportunity for everyone to get to use their voice and let it be heard. And I do hope that everyone will take this opportunity, regardless of whether they are in support of the decision to join the European Union or not, because democracy is about expressing your views in this regard. I think it’s very important that when you do this, the population has access to information and that they can make a decision based on facts and knowledge and not be pushed by fear or disinformation. And this is, of course, critical,” Katarina Fried concluded.

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Katarina Fried specified that the European Union and Sweden always financially supported Moldova. And after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, this support increased.

“Together with the EU, Sweden co-finances numerous projects in the Republic of Moldova. These projects focus on social enterprises, ecology, energy efficiency, development, support for youth, and more. Since the Russian full-scale aggression against Ukraine, which also, of course, has had some serious challenges here in Moldova, we have more than doubled our support to Moldova. But we see Moldova as part of this bigger picture and also like to be here to support it. So we have bilateral reform cooperation that is managed here by the embassy, and it was 327 million lei last year. In addition to that, we had a little bit more than 500 million lei that we invested in vulnerable households to help them out with the energy situation and investment in energy efficiency means,” the Swedish ambassador stressed.

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