Albares announces the forthcoming opening of a Spanish Embassy in Moldova

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares (right), greets the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova, Nicolae Popescu (left). – Eduardo Parra – Europa Press

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, has announced that Spain will soon open an Embassy in Moldova, in a political and diplomatic gesture towards a country it already considers part of «the European family».

Albares received this Tuesday in Madrid his Moldovan counterpart, Nico Popescu, before whom he promised that the Spanish Government will «take steps» to convert the current diplomatic office in Chisinau into a fully-functional Embassy.

Both the Spanish Minister and the President of the Government, Pedro Sámchez, visited Moldova in 2022, already with the «brutal, unjust and unjustified» invasion of Ukraine underway. Albares has pledged continued support, as there is no «short-term» solution in sight.

Since Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the order to start the invasion in February 2022, some 600,000 people have crossed the border into Moldova, whose authorities estimate the number of refugees at 85,000 at present. «Our door is open,» Popescu has said.

The head of Moldovan diplomacy has warned that the effects of the conflict transcend the Ukrainian territory and recalled how, for example, Moldova has suffered the impact of missiles and blackouts as a result of Russian bombardments in the neighboring country.

Popescu thanked Spain for its help, with which he hopes to continue strengthening all kinds of ties, also in order to make progress in practical matters such as the mutual recognition of driving licenses. Albares confirmed an exchange agreement between diplomatic schools.

INTEGRATION INTO THE EU Moldova will participate in February in a summit with the European Union and, at the beginning of June, will host the second meeting of the European Political Community, precisely as a preliminary step to Spain, which will act as host in the second half of the year, coinciding with the presidency of the Council.

Albares considered a «historic step for Europe» the granting to Moldova of the status of candidate country to the EU. In this sense, he valued Moldova’s efforts to undertake the reforms demanded from Brussels, «in such complex circumstances».

«Spain is aware that the enlargement of the Union is one of the most crucial issues to be resolved in the coming years», said Albares, who then promised «high priority» for these issues during the second half of the year.

For his part, Popescu explained that he had informed his «great friend» Albares of the progress of the reforms, which include among their objectives the improvement of the judicial system, the fight against corruption or the modernization of the economy.