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Moldova crucially important to Ukraine - Former FM Pavlo Klimkin

Pavlo Klimkin
Pavlo Klimkin

Moldova is not just a neighbor for Ukraine, it is a critically important country, Pavlo Klimkin, former Foreign Minister of Ukraine told Radio NV.

We are starting simultaneous negotiations on joining the European Union.

But we also have Transnistria. And there is a huge Russian influence in today’s Moldova. Russia will try to destabilize the situation on the eve of the elections that will be held in the second half of the year.

And the appointment of Alexei Danilov as a non-diplomat to Moldova in this situation does not fundamentally change anything.

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In fact, security issues around Moldova, around Transnistria, are, in my opinion, priority number one. What challenges does Ukraine face in Moldova, so that you can understand what will former NSDC Secretary have to face?

Number one, as I mentioned above, is Russia’s attempts to destabilize Moldova on the eve of this year’s elections. And Russian influence in Moldova remains not just powerful, it is systemic.

Read also: FSB interrogates and recruits Ukrainians in unrecognized Transnistria — NRC

Unlike us, Moldovans still watch Russian channels and work in Russia. It is interesting that even people with a complicated personal history with Russia are still very oriented in this sense to consumption of Russian products. Moldova has a difficult economic situation, so it is not easy to work there.

And the second fundamental challenge is that we cannot have Transnistria as a Russian enclave when we are a member of the EU and Moldova is a member of the EU. That is fundamentally impossible.

Read also: Ukraine will help Moldova in case of escalation in Transnistria — diplomat

Transnistria <span class="copyright">(Photo:REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)</span>
Transnistria (Photo:REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)

We need to develop a strategy and implement it in such a way that Transnistria ceases to be not only on Russia’s hook, but also changes the situation in the following ways. Their Ministry of State Security is actually a kind of an FSB unit.

But now new opportunities are opening up. Russia has less money, less attention to Transnistria. Although I do not exclude that in this reality Russia will play something in Transnistria, in terms of some kind of provocation or a system of provocations.

Read also: Moldova to hold referendum on EU membership in 2024 — President Sandu

This would actually be quite logical from their side, I think. So these security challenges around Moldova, in my opinion, are the most important. Everything else, in particular, coordination on the EU track, is important, but in my opinion, not critical. It will still be carried out mainly through Brussels.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine