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An Expression of Central European Solidarity: Foreign Minister Schallenberg Travels to Moldova with the Slavkov Trilateral

On 1st April 2022, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, along with his Czech counterpart Jan Lipavský and his Slovak counterpart Ivan Korčok, will visit the Republic of Moldova. Their itinerary includes meetings with Moldovan President Maia Sandu, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu. A visit to the MOLDEXPO refugee center is also planned. The talks will focus on the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, which has wide-reaching consequences for Moldova as a neighbouring country of Ukraine.

During his trip, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg announced an extensive support package for Moldova, which has taken in nearly 100,000 displaced persons since the Russian attack on Ukraine. In addition, Austria has become the first EU member state to establish an airlift to transport displaced Ukrainians from Moldova. Furthermore, Moldova has been a priority country for the Austrian Development Cooperation since 2004.

I am pleased to announce that we will increase our bilateral development assistance from three to five million euros in order to fight the economic and social impact of the Russian aggression and to help build resilience. In addition, we will provide five million euros in humanitarian assistance. We will not abandon Moldova in this hour of need,

said Foreign Minister Schallenberg in his announcement of Austria’s support for Moldova.

However, the only sustainable solution will be the end of the Russian attack. Therefore, during their visit to Moldova, the Slavkov foreign ministers will once again demand an immediate end to the war of aggression against Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine also has serious consequences for the security situation in Moldova. Because of the ongoing conflict in Transnistria, Russian troops are in Moldovan territory. Therefore, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg made a clear commitment to the country’s territorial integrity, and his support for Moldova’s path to EU membership. As the official headquarters of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and through Austrian diplomat Thomas Mayr-Harting as OSCE Special Representative for the Settlement of the Transnistrian Conflict, Austria plays an active role in seeking a sustainable political solution for the conflict. In this context, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg warned that the conflict could expand into the surrounding region.

The leadership in Moscow is not only looking at Ukraine. It is also turning its attention to other countries like Moldova,

said Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

The trilateral of Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic was established in Slavkov (known as Austerlitz in German) in early 2015. The goal of this format is to improve the cooperation between the three countries. 

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