A week after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began, Moldova has officially sought for membership in the European Union.
Following the European Parliament’s support for a similar action by Kyiv, the statement was made.
President Maia Sandu announced on Thursday that Moldova had signed “a request to join the European Union.”
“Be a part of the free world,” she said. “While some decisions take time to make, others must be made swiftly and decisively, seizing the opportunities that come with a changing environment.”
Sandu, the prime minister, and the speaker of the parliament all signed the paper at a press conference in Chisinau, Moldova’s capital, where pro-Russian and pro-EU parties have fought for dominance since the country gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.
According to the president, the application would be sent to Brussels in the coming days.
Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu described the news as “a day that future generations will be proud of; it is the moment when our country has firmly established itself in the European space.”
Moldova, one of the continent’s poorest countries, signed an association agreement with the EU in 2014 with the goal of aligning its political and economic norms with those of the EU. It has not, however, been assured of membership.
On Thursday, Georgia, a fellow ex-Soviet country, formally applied for membership in the union.
After signing the application letter, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili declared, “History has deemed the Georgian people’s European choice as its strategic goal.”
Georgia declared last year that it would bid for EU membership in 2024.
Ex-Soviet republics’ efforts to strengthen ties with the West have long enraged Russia. Moscow is adamantly opposed to the EU and NATO’s eastward expansion, which it views as a direct danger to Russia’s security.
Following Ukraine, the West is concerned that Moldova and Georgia could become targets for the Kremlin.
Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron stated, “We stand with Moldova and Georgia to protect their sovereignty and security,” while Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France was “worried” about a possible Russian military strike against the ex-Soviet republics.