European Council President Charles Michel pledges to increase EU military aid to Moldova, Ukraine’s neighbor, which has seen a series of attacks in a pro-Moscow separatist region.
“This year we plan to significantly increase our support to Moldova by providing its armed forces with additional military equipment,” Michel tells a press conference with Moldova’s President Maia Sandu during a visit to the country.
Michel says the EU will up support in the “field of logistics, of cyber defense” and will seek to provide “more military-building capacities” to Moldova, without going into further detail.
“The EU stands in full solidarity with you, with Moldova. It is our European duty to help and to support your country,” Michel says, adding that the bloc will help Moldova “cope with the consequences of the spillover from the Russian aggression in Ukraine.”
Last week, Moldova’s separatist region of Transnistria reported explosions hitting the security ministry, a military unit and a Russian-owned radio tower as well as shots fired at a village housing a Russian arms depot, which Moscow called “acts of terrorism.”
The self-proclaimed republic of Transnistria bordering Ukraine seceded from Moldova in 1992 after a brief war with Chisinau. Around 1,500 Russian soldiers have been based there ever since.
Fears of a spillover from the Ukraine conflict grew after a Russian general said the Kremlin’s military campaign — launched on February 24 — aimed to create a land corridor through southern Ukraine to Transnistria.