Netherlands opens embassy in Moldova in response to war in Ukraine
The Netherlands is opening an embassy in Moldova with the aim of strengthening ties with the country in the face of interference from Russia.
Foreign affairs minister Wopke Hoekstra, who will formally open the embassy in Chisinau on Wednesday, said it was in the interests of the Netherlands to have ‘security and stability on the eastern border’ of Europe.
Until today the Netherlands had a consulate in the Moldovan capital, which was subordinate to its embassy in Romania.
The post of ambassador will be filled by Fred Duijn, who previously headed Taskforce MH17, the foreign ministry’s department that handled the recovery of the Malaysia Airlines plane that was shot down over the Donbas region of Ukraine in 2014.
Moldova’s economy and political stability has been hit by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with power cuts caused by strikes on Ukrainian facilities and restrictions on gas supplies.
The country applied for membership of the European Union last March and was granted candidate status in June, together with Ukraine.
Russia also has around 1,500 troops stationed in the unrecognised breakaway republic of Transnistria, which borders Ukraine.
In February the government resigned over what prime minister Natalia Gavralita called ‘multiple crises caused by Russian aggression in Ukraine’. She accused Russia of stoking street protests that blamed her government for soaring inflation and energy prices.
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