Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Moldovan President Maia Sandu has formally applied for her country to join the European Union charting a pro-Western course for the country that was formerly in the Soviet Union.
Sandu’s request for joining the EU comes days after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy requesting an immediate EU membership.
Russia is fiercely opposed to NATO’s expansion in the East as well as the expansion of the EU eastwards, which it sees as a direct threat to its own national security.
Sandu, the prime minister and the parliamentary speaker all signed the document during a briefing in the capital Chisinau, where pro-Russian and pro-EU politicians have vied for control since Moldova won independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
“It took 30 years for Moldova to reach maturity, but today the country is ready to take responsibility for its own future,” said Sandu. “We want to live in peace, prosperity, be part of the free world. While some decisions take time, others must be made quickly and decisively, and taking advantage of the opportunities that come with a changing world”.
She went on to add, the application will be sent to Brussels in the coming days.
Negotiations to join the EU typically take years since the candidate country has to align its legislation with that of the 27-nation bloc.
Leaders from the EU may discuss Ukraine’s request at an informal summit next month, said diplomats.