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German Chancellor Scholz in Bucharest to discuss Moldova's integration in the EU

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz shakes hands with his Romanian counterpart Nicolae Ciuca at the Victoria Palace, the Romanian government headquarters.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz shakes hands with his Romanian counterpart Nicolae Ciuca at the Victoria Palace, the Romanian government headquarters. Copyright Alexandru Dobre / AP
Copyright Alexandru Dobre / AP
By Euronews with AP
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Romania, Germany and Moldova will discuss security, economy and energy in Bucharest.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz travelled to Romania’s capital on Monday for trilateral talks with the presidents of Romania and Moldova, as the three nations look to boost ties on a range of topics amid Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

Olaf Scholz first met with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at Cotroceni Palace in Bucharest, for talks that focussed on security, economy, and energy. They also discussed defence cooperation on NATO’s eastern flank and security in the Black Sea region.

Moldova's EU integration discussed

The two leaders also discussed ways to support Ukraine and Moldova, both of which were granted EU candidate status last June. They also agreed on the importance of EU expansion and that the Western Balkans “remain a key priority” to one day join the 27-nation bloc, Iohannis said.

“We also share a common vision regarding the strategic values of the expansion of the (EU) to the East,” he said.

Later on Monday, Iohannis and Scholz will be joined by Moldovan President Maia Sandu for trilateral meetings. The three leaders will discuss European integration for Moldova, which is not a NATO member and has faced a protracted series of crises over the past year.

Aurel Obreja / AP
Maia Sandu signed the application for EU membership on 3 March 2022 after the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.Aurel Obreja / AP

Iohannis said that Moldova’s situation is “greatly complicated by the hybrid attacks from Russia,” and listed “major complications” the country faces as the high inflows of war refugees from Ukraine and the impact that the war is having on Moldova’s struggling economy.

Last month, Moldovan police said they foiled a plot by groups of Russia-backed saboteurs who were specially trained to cause mass unrest against the country’s pro-Western government. That came days after US intelligence officials said people with ties to Russian intelligence aimed to use the protests as a basis to try to topple Moldova’s government.

Scholz-Iohannis on security

Iohannis told a news conference after the talks that the Black Sea region’s strategic importance has been growing and called on NATO to “significantly strengthen” its defence and deterrence posture there.

For his part, Scholz highlighted the strong relations between his country and Romania and reiterated an oft-repeated pledge to “give Ukraine military support for as long as it is necessary, and we are working on that constantly and together.”

Scholz didn’t directly answer questions about the possibility of a maintenance facility being set up in Romania for German military equipment sent to Ukraine, to reflect similar efforts in other countries.

A spokesperson for the German defence company Rheinmetall, told German news agency DPA Monday that it is setting up a maintenance and logistics centre in Satu Mare, north Romania, for Western military vehicles and howitzers delivered to Ukraine that will start work this month.

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