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Moldova condemns Russia, calls for state of emergency and shuts its airspace

Moldova's President Maia Sandu poses prior to a bilateral meeting with European Council President Charles Michel on the sidelines of an Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels, Dec. 15, 2021. (Kenzo Tribouillard, Pool Photo via AP)
Moldova's President Maia Sandu poses prior to a bilateral meeting with European Council President Charles Michel on the sidelines of an Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels, Dec. 15, 2021. (Kenzo Tribouillard, Pool Photo via AP)

Moldova’s president says the country’s Supreme Security Council has decided to ask parliament to introduce a state of emergency following Russia’s attack on neighboring Ukraine.

President Maia Sandu says that Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a “flagrant violation of international norms.”

Sandu urges Moldovan citizens in Ukraine to return home. Moldova, a former Soviet republic and one of Europe’s poorest nations, has a population of around 3.5 million and is not a NATO member.

There are now concerns in Moldova that the neighboring conflict could trigger an influx of refugees. Sandu says that “at the border crossing points with Ukraine there is an increase in traffic flow.”

She adds that “we will help people who need our support. At this moment, we are ready to accommodate tens of thousands of people.”

Moldovan Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu writes on Telegram that “given the situation in the region, the Supreme Security Council has recommended that Moldova’s airspace be closed.”

He adds that airspace will be closed from 12 p.m. (1000 GMT) and “all flights will be redirected to other airports.”

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