Constitution of the
Republic of Moldova

Press statement by President Maia Sandu after the meeting with the President of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, Pedro Sánchez

Dear President Sánchez,

Welcome to the Republic of Moldova! This is the first visit of the President of the Government of Spain to the Republic of Moldova - and it happens during the year in which we mark the 30th anniversary since the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic relations between our countries.

We discussed with President Sánchez the bilateral agenda, the evolution of the security situation as a consequence of Russia's war against Ukraine, and the support the Republic of Moldova has received during these difficult days.

Moldovan-Spanish relations have developed in many areas over the last 30 years, and we want to further strengthen them.

We want to deepen economic cooperation between our countries. Spain is an important trading partner of the Republic of Moldova, but also a source of investment. There are 58 companies with Spanish capital in Moldova, well-known brands in the energy, wine and automotive sectors. We are also interested in attracting Spanish investment in domains such as the textile industry and the modernization of the agri-food sector.

We want to strengthen the development cooperation between the Republic of Moldova and Spain. We would like to establish a partnership with the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development to carry out development projects in our country in the field of good governance, modernisation of public administration, infrastructure or environment.

We want to work with Spain in the field of justice and the prevention and fight against corruption. We are interested in expanding the interinstitutional police cooperation.

Spain is a recognized leader in renewable energy and the fight against the effects of climate change. We want to take over Spanish good practices in areas such as waste and water resources management and expanding forest vegetation on degraded land.

We appreciate the progress made in negotiating the Agreement on social security between the relevant ministries of our countries. This agreement will provide the expected social protection to our diaspora in Spain, but also to Spaniards living in the Republic of Moldova. I hope it will be signed in the near future. We also welcome your Government's openness to start negotiations on the bilateral agreement on the conversion of driving licenses.

We are interested in deepening inter-university collaboration. Moldovan universities are currently implementing more than 20 joint agreements and programmes with educational institutions from your country, including those related to ensuring quality in education.

We also discussed about our wish to develop cooperation in the field of Spanish language teaching in Moldova and about our high schools with teaching in Spanish.

Although our countries are in different parts of the European continent, Moldova and Spain have a lot in common. We also see this in the contacts between our citizens. We have an important community of Moldovan citizens settled in Spain, which helps to strengthen our bilateral relations. There are precious connections that we must keep and cultivate.

Mr. President,

Today marks 100 days since the beginning of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. From day one, Moldova has condemned the war and called for peace. From day one, our citizens have opened their homes and hearts to Ukrainian refugees driven from their country by bombs. Nearly half a million people have entered Moldova since 24 February. More than 80,000 people are still here. More than half of them are children.

We thank the Spanish Government for the decision to resettle 2000 Ukrainian refugees from Moldova to Spain. We are also grateful to the Spanish charities that have sent 30 tons of humanitarian aid for the refugees settled in our country.

After Ukraine, Moldova is the second most affected country by this war. Importers can no longer deliver products through Ukrainian ports, exporters no longer have access to Eastern markets. Our citizens are doing worse because of high prices for products, fuels and energy resources. We are going through a difficult period and we are all the more appreciative of the support we get from our European partners.

Despite these challenges, we want and are determined to move forward with the implementation of development programs, to strengthen democratic processes and institutions, to continue the reform of the judiciary, to strengthen the capacity of the institutions that must prevent and fight corruption. We also want to improve the business environment, to attract investments so that we can create economic opportunities for as many people as possible, here, at home. In this process, the EU is Moldova's main economic and development partner.

The war has shown us that we must move quickly towards our goal, because later it may be too late. On 3 March, Moldova signed its application to join the EU. We know that Moldova's European path will be long and complex. However, we are not looking for shortcuts. We will work hard to bring order to our country and we want to be appreciated for the results of our work.

Moldova is a European country with a European history. We speak one of the official languages of the EU. Our citizens have shown their attachment to European values by expressing their unwavering solidarity with their war-torn neighbors.

The EU is a peace project. With the support of the EU, Moldova can become a pole of stability on this part of Europe.

Mr. President,

No country can develop in isolation without cooperating with other countries and taking part in global processes. Moldova values the relations it has built with the Kingdom of Spain in these 30 years, and we have good growth potential for the future. But development needs peace. The international community, the countries of the free world must do everything to stop Russian aggression against Ukraine.

It is our moral duty to the brave Ukrainians, to the citizens of our countries, to the present and future generations in the region and throughout Europe, who deserve to live in peace, freedom and well-being.