Maia Sandu, first official visit to Brussels after taking over the mandate as president of Moldova

by Romanian Reporter - Tuesday, January 19, 2021 2:14 PM

Maia Sandu, first official visit to Brussels after taking over the mandate as president of Moldova

Maia Sandu, the president of the Republic of Moldova, began her official visit to Brussels on Monday, January 18. The visit is an attempt to reset the relationship between Moldova and the European Union, which deteriorated under the mandate of the previous president, the pro-Russian socialist Igor Dodon.

The country's post-Soviet history is a long struggle of choosing a clear path and direction in the foreign policies between the Eastern influence of the Russian Federation and a closer relationship with the European Union.

The restoration of a good relationship with Moldova's neighbors, Romania and Ukraine, and the European Union was announced as a priority for the new president even during Sandu's campaign for the November 2020 presidential elections, when she competed against the current, pro-Russian president, and managed to win with a surprising 15% difference in votes.

Maia Sandu took over the role of the president on December 24 and soon thereafter became very active regarding her foreign policy duties.

Klaus Iohannis's visit to Moldova

The first step was the visit of the Romanian president, Klaus Iohannis, to Chisinau, on December 29. The two presidents signed a joint statement for the strengthening of the Romanian-Moldovan strategical partnership. Klaus Iohannis promised also a support package for Moldova's citizens, heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, which include the donation of 200.000 anti-Covid vaccine shots, 6.000 tons of diesel for Moldovan farmers, and other financial support.

First official visit to Kyiv in the last 5 years

On January 12 Maia Sandu made an official visit to Kyiv, where she had meetings with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and other Ukrainian officials. It was the first visit of a Moldovan president to Ukraine in the last 5 years. During his tenure, Igor Dodon was never received in Kyiv and was almost declared persona non grata in Ukraine, after his statement from November 2016, according to which Crimea belonged to Russia and which led to a total blockage of the bilateral relationship.

Among the topics discussed by the two presidents were the European integration for both Moldova and Ukraine, the status of conflict zones in Transnistria, respectively Crimea, and the reaffirming mutual support of the national integrity and sovereignty. 

European Integration

The visit to Brussels is the logical continuation of Maia Sandu's foreign policy efforts. The president met many European officials and tackled crucial topics for Moldova's present and future, such as the European integration, access to anti-Covid vaccines, reforms in the justice system and fight against corruption, and farmers' situation, affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Maia Sandu's schedule in Brussels:

  • Laura Codruța Kövesi, European Chief Prosecutor and the former chief prosecutor of Romania's National Anticorruption Directorate
  • Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission
  • Josep Borrell, Vice-President of the European Commission
  • Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement
  • Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-president of the European Commission
  • Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Budget and Administration
  • Didier Reynders, European Commissioner for Justice
  • Charles Michel, President of the European Council
  • Siegfried Mureșan, Vice-President of the European People's Party and Co-president of the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Association Committee and David McAllister, Chair of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee
  • Dacian Cioloș, President of  Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament, Dragoș Tudorache, Rapporteur on the implementation of the EU Association Agreement with the Republic of Moldova, Ramona Strugariu, Vice-Chair of Delegation to the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Association Committee
  • David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament

Photo: Maia Sandu / Facebook

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