President of the European Council Charles Michel will visit Moldova today to meet with President Maia Sandu.
Michel and Sandu are likely to discuss Moldova’s recent application for EU membership. Though the application was ostensibly submitted in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Sandu has been pushing for EU membership for some time and is capitalizing on the Union’s push to incorporate anti-Russian governments in Eastern Europe.
The visit comes amid high tensions in the breakaway region of Transnistria, where unknown perpetrators have been carrying out explosive attacks for the last two weeks. Separatist authorities and their Russian backers claim Ukrainian infiltrators are responsible. The Moldovan government, on the other hand, blames the attacks on infighting between separatist factions.
Whatever the case, the ongoing violence in Transnistria will serve as a reminder to Michel of Moldova’s fragile economic and political state. Because of this state and Transnistria, in the eyes of the European Council Moldova is an unsuitable candidate for EU membership. Michel is therefore unlikely to make any concrete commitments on membership. He may, however, promise some humanitarian aid to lessen the severe refugee crisis on Moldova’s Ukrainian border or offer European services in calming tensions in Transnistria.
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Connor is a Content Editor and Analyst on the Daily Brief team and a member of the Communications team. His primary research focus is Latin America