Moldovan President Maia Sandu has recently given an interview to the Washington Post in which she has expressed her view on relations with neighboring Ukraine, Russia’s war against it, and why she thinks it’s essential for her country to become a member of the European Union.
In the piece published on Oct. 6, she said: “We have condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine from the very first day. One year ago, none of us would have thought we would have a full-fledged war in Europe. Ukraine is fighting for the free world and is also defending us.”
She acknowledged: “The war has created a lot of pain for Ukraine, but Moldova has also been affected significantly…. It has caused the energy crisis which is affecting Moldova. Because of this war, we have high inflation and today Moldovans pay a price for gas seven times higher than last year. We are also paying a higher price for electricity. Moldova is not a rich country, which means that in people’s budgets, the share of spending on energy and on food is very high.”
The Moldovan president stressed, “We all want this war to end as soon as possible and Ukraine to recover its territories.”
Sandu also confirmed that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has caused Moldova to abandon its traditional neutral status.
“Unfortunately, Russian propaganda has been trying to mislead people in Moldova that neutral means you should not have a defense sector, or you should not invest in your defense sector, which is not true,” she elaborated. “In the constitution it says that we are a neutral country. At the same time, it says that the country should have an army and the army should be able to defend the country. So, we are saying that because of the war in Ukraine, we should be more concerned about our security and should invest more than we invested in the past in our defense sector.”
Asked what’s the most important thing to her personally, Sandu replied: “I do believe that our chance to survive as a democracy — and democracy is very important to us — is to integrate into the European Union. We want to stay part of the free world.”
She revealed that her presidential salary is less than 1,000 euros a month. “It’s a poor country,” she explained.
So, what made her run for office?
“The choice was that I either leave the country or try to change things. I never planned to become a politician, but seeing so many corrupt people in politics, and [seeing] corruption seeping into state institutions, there was no future for this country…. I just felt it was my duty to try. I love this country [Moldova].
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