EU sends anti-coup mission to Moldova in May

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The EU aims to launch a new government support mission to Moldova in May to counter Russia’s “destabilizing activities”.

Dubbed the EU Partnership Mission in Moldova (EUPM Moldova), the team of civilian advisers is to be assembled in a “fast-track” process for an initial period of two years, “with a view to launching the mission at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Council of May 22, 2023,” according to an internal EU memo.

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The Foreign Affairs Council is a regular meeting of EU foreign ministers.

The tasks of the mission will be to “strengthen the resilience of Moldova’s security sector in the field of crisis management as well as to strengthen the resilience to hybrid threats, including cybersecurity, and to counter manipulation and ‘foreign information interference’, notes the note dated March 29 and viewed by EUobserver. , said.

The size and budget of the mission are yet to be determined, but it must be “scalable and modular in nature so that it can, over time, adapt to changing realities”.

Its staff must also have “specific expertise” in the fight against foreign espionage “as well as access to cutting-edge technology”.

The project comes amid what the memo called “destabilizing activities by external actors”, referring to previous accusations by Moldova, Ukraine, the EU and the US that Russia attempts to stage a coup against the pro-Western government of Moldova.

Moldovan authorities recently arrested seven allegedly Russian-trained saboteurs and prevented hundreds of suspected foreign nationals from crossing the border as a precaution.

But Chișinău remains on edge over popular discontent over the economic and refugee crisis resulting from the Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine last year.

“Moldova’s hosting of the European Political Community summit on June 1, 2023 could lead to an increase in hybrid threats and manipulation of information,” the EU memo also warned.

The European Political Community is an intergovernmental forum launched by France last year.

In other provisions, EU countries are buying Moldova worth 40 million euros worth of non-lethal military equipment, including a long-range mobile radar system, after Russia fired missiles into the Moldova’s airspace earlier this year.

The United States plans to add a similar amount, more than doubling the impoverished country’s small defense budget.

The EU has already invested 47 million euros in the modernization of the Moldovan army in 2021 and 2022.


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