Blinken in Moldova to show US support against Russian ‘interference’

Blinken in Moldova to show US support against Russian ‘interference’
Blinken in Moldova to show US support against Russian ‘interference’

The head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken will visit Moldova next week, at a time when Western powers seek to increase their support in the face of Russian desires on this Eastern European country, a senior official of the States announced on Friday. -United.

• Read also: Blinken’s surprise visit to Ukraine in the midst of the Russian offensive

Moldova, located between Ukraine and Romania, regularly accuses Moscow of seeking to destabilize it, particularly since it is officially a candidate to join the European Union.

Antony Blinken will pass through Moldova on Wednesday before going to a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Prague to prepare for the 75th anniversary of the Atlantic Alliance in Washington in July, Jim O’Brien told the press, in charge of Europe within the State Department.

The American Secretary of State will welcome “Moldova’s progress and its progress on the path to European integration” in the face of “the threat posed by Russian interference”, declared the senior diplomat.

According to him, the United States does not expect an imminent military threat in Transdniestria, a pro-Russian separatist region of Moldova. But Washington is concerned about “ongoing Russian influence operations”, partly targeting pro-European President Maia Sandu, currently a candidate for re-election.

The United States hopes that Moldovans can “have their say in a free and fair environment, with as little interference or misinformation as possible,” added Jim O’Brien.

The US Secretary of State’s last visit to Moldova was in 2022, a few weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which still has some 1,500 troops in Transdniestria.

In addition to the United States, Europeans are also seeking to support Chisinau. The EU and Moldova signed a defense and security partnership agreement on Tuesday, the first of its kind.

The 27 must decide whether they will soon open official accession negotiations with this country, and with Ukraine.

Antony Blinken’s visit to Moldova comes at a time when Georgia, another former Soviet republic on the path towards rapprochement with Europe, has adopted a highly contested law on “foreign influence”, considered liberticidal and similar to that in force in Russia.

The United States announced on Friday that it was reviewing its cooperation with Georgia, calling on the country’s leaders to “take steps to advance the democratic and Euro-Atlantic aspirations” of their population.

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