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Joint Statement on U.S.-Moldova Strategic Dialogue – United States Department of State

The text of the following statement was issued by the governments of the United States and the Republic of Moldova.

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The Governments of the United States of America (United States) and the Republic of Moldova (Moldova) held a meeting of the US-Moldova Strategic Dialogue in Washington, DC, on April 18, 2024, as well as political consultations between the Deputy Secretary of Management and Information Technology and the United States and the Republic of Moldova. and Resources, Richard Varma and Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mihai Popsoy.

For more than 30 years, the United States and Moldova have formed a strategic bilateral partnership. In the face of threats posed by the Russian Federation’s aggressive war against Ukraine, this partnership has grown stronger. During the strategic dialogue, both sides highlighted the progress made since the last strategic dialogue in Chisinau in March 2023 on advancing bilateral priorities, including defense and security cooperation; Moldova’s progress towards EU integration and its reform agenda including justice sector reforms and anti-corruption policies; economic and energy security; And strengthened people-to-people ties. The United States stands with Moldova in supporting its long-term democratic and economic reform efforts, as well as its sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.

Moldova and the United States also discussed programs that help Moldova develop its national resilience and defend its territory, protect its constitutional neutrality, and build its capacity to effectively manage and respond to crisis situations. Are. Since Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine, Moldova has received approximately $75 million in foreign military financing (FMF) to enhance its defense capabilities. The United States, through the U.S. European Command, conducts regular exercises with the Moldovan National Army, building a strong partnership between Moldova and the State of North Carolina in the State Partnership Program. The two countries highlighted the importance of this cooperation between Moldova and the State of North Carolina, which was extended for the next five years in Chisinau on 19 March. Looking ahead, we remain steadfast in our commitment to foster deep mutual respect and cooperation, as expressed in our Joint Strategic Statement.

Through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) and Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS), Moldova’s border enforcement agencies have received equipment and increased capacity development resulting in strengthened border communications and enforcement capabilities. Have happened. The United States is assisting Moldovan security forces in enhancing their physical security and arms and ammunition stockpile management, as well as providing advice on how to defend against cyber threats. Stronger borders, more effective law enforcement, and better arms and ammunition management enhance Moldovan and regional security. The United States commended Moldova on the 30th anniversary of Moldova’s participation in the NATO Partnership for Peace program and the 10th anniversary of Moldova’s participation in the NATO KFOR mission in Kosovo.

The United States also announced a new initiative to assist Moldova’s Ministry of Internal Affairs in bringing its law enforcement academy closer to international standards. The $2.7 million INL-supported project will update firearms training methods, enhance the knowledge and effectiveness of firearms instructors, introduce new teaching techniques, and completely refurbish and modernize the academy’s shooting range. A stronger academy will foster more self-reliant law enforcement entities, which will be transformed and further professionalized into a well-equipped and well-trained force capable of building better security and trust with Moldovan citizens.

Moldova has made significant progress in the justice sector. With support from the US Government, various projects have been implemented to promote justice sector reform and build justice sector capacity, including boosting the efficiency and performance of national courts, streamlining judicial processes, developing quality and includes activities to assist courts in implementation. Management standards, and improving the case management system integrated with the courts. Progress has also been made in strengthening legal and institutional capacities to fight corruption. National institutions acknowledged the significant support provided by the US government for the tools needed to investigate corruption cases.

The United States welcomed the December 2023 decision of the European Council to open accession negotiations with Moldova and recognize Moldova’s progress in pursuing necessary reforms on its EU path. The United States supports Moldova’s integration with the European Union and the continued implementation of the ambitious reform agenda necessary for progress toward this objective and for the benefit of the people of Moldova.

The two countries discussed Moldova’s management of the economic, energy, security, defense and humanitarian impacts of Russia’s war against Ukraine. The United States remains the largest single-country donor to Moldova, with more than $774 million in new economic, security, defense, and humanitarian assistance since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, while maintaining progress To help Moldova manage the effects of the war. It aims to pursue democratic and anti-corruption reform agenda, advance defense and security modernization, and promote economic growth. It is also important to help Moldova improve its resilience to deleterious impacts.

The United States thanked Moldova for continuing to welcome and protect refugees fleeing Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine and for adopting temporary protection status to allow refugees access to social programs and legal protections. Since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, more than 1 million refugees have passed through Moldova and 116,000 remain. The United States has provided approximately $118 million in humanitarian assistance to international partners working in Moldova to support both refugees and their Moldovan host communities. The United States appreciated Moldova’s support for Ukrainian transshipment and its leadership in the Danube Quinte to facilitate the flow of Ukrainian grain to world markets following the Russian withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Initiative in July 2023. Both sides reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine and discussed opportunities for further cooperation.

The discussion also touched on Moldova’s upcoming presidential elections and the referendum on European integration later this year and parliamentary elections next year. Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to ensure free and fair elections in Moldova and to disrupt Russia’s ongoing efforts to interfere in Moldova’s democratic institutions and electoral process. Moldova appreciated the US sanctions announced in June 2023 and February 2024 against eight Russian and Moldovan nationals who attempted to subvert Moldova’s electoral processes through illegal vote buying and other activities. Both sides committed to further cooperation to enhance Moldova’s resilience and ability to effectively counter foreign malign influence. Additional joint efforts to reduce the negative impacts of foreign disinformation and propaganda under a Memorandum of Understanding with the State Chancellor of Moldova signed by James Rubin, US Special Envoy to Countering Foreign Information Manipulation and Coordinator of the Global Engagement Center in September 2023 Will be done.

The United States and Moldova discussed human rights issues, including progress on Moldova’s labor law reforms, resulting in an upgraded assessment in the 2023 US Department of Labor report on the worst forms of child labor, as well as human rights Also included were ongoing collaborations to promote. Address hate-based crimes, and protect vulnerable groups around the world. Participants welcomed the diverse perspectives presented during the second annual US-Moldova Strategic Dialogue Civil Society Platform in Chisinau on April 11 and emphasized the important role of civil society in advancing bilateral relations and people-to-people ties.

Moldova and the United States discussed energy security and economic development, highlighting the significant progress made on securing Moldova’s energy security and diversification through the signing of the Open Skies Agreement in May 2023 and USAID’s support. Both parties are committed to dedicating time, expertise and authorities to quickly and effectively implement the proposed energy assistance projects, including a project to enhance connectivity between Moldova and Romania and improve electricity grid stabilization and reserve capacity. Involves construction of high voltage energy transmission lines.

Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to collaborative efforts on the transition to renewable sources of energy. Delegations noted that, in April 2024, and for the first time, Moldova purchased US natural gas and emphasized that future US natural gas deliveries will enhance both Moldova’s energy security and US-Moldova bilateral trade relations. The two sides discussed a “vertical corridor” that would take advantage of existing gas infrastructure to deliver non-Russian supplies from eastern Mediterranean terminals to Ukraine and Moldova, and eventually from Ukraine to Central Europe.

Both sides also stressed the critical importance of continued cyber security cooperation and digitalization to protect individual privacy rights. The United States recognized that the Republic of Moldova has made significant efforts to advance cybersecurity and embrace digitalization. Recognizing the evolving nature of cyber threats and the transformative power of digital technologies, the United States and Moldova expressed readiness to deepen cooperation in this area to ensure the security and prosperity of both countries. Moldova expressed interest in joining the Counter Ransomware Initiative to build our shared resilience to ransomware attacks and enhance partnerships among its members.

Moldova expressed enthusiasm for the return of Peace Corps volunteers to the country in 2023, noting the positive contribution of more than 1,500 volunteers over the past 30 years in strengthening people-to-people ties between the two countries.

The Strategic Dialogue was hosted by the US State Department and included inter-agency and inter-ministerial representatives from both governments. The US delegation included representatives from the State Department, Defense Department, Justice Department, Treasury Department, Peace Corps, US Agency for International Development, and the US Trade Representative.

The Moldovan delegation included representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Economic Development and Digitalization, Presidential Administration and the Prime Minister’s Cabinet.

The United States and Moldova underlined their common interest in continuing the discussions during the Dialogue to advance cooperation rooted in our shared democratic values ​​and common interests. Both countries committed to hold the next meeting of the Strategic Dialogue in Chisinau, Moldova in 2025.

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