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German President Vows Support For Moldova Reform Program

Moldovan President Maia Sandu (left) talks with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier during his visit to Chisinau on September 29.

CHISINAU -- During a visit to Chisinau, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier committed Berlin to an assistance package of 10 million euros ($11.6 million) to support the reform program launched by Moldovan President Maia Sandu.

"I brought with me a small package worth about 10 million euros through which we will provide expertise, because we know that when it comes to developing public sector reforms we need expertise, as well as to ensure security energy, health care, and regional cooperation," Steinmeier said following talks with Sandu in the Moldovan capital on September 29.

The European Union needs a stable and prosperous eastern neighborhood, and reforms in Moldova are important for the entire region, said Steinmeier, whose two-day visit is the first-ever by a German president to the Eastern European country.

Sandu called for increased German investment in one of Europe's poorest countries.

The Moldovan president took office after defeating Russia-backed incumbent Igor Dodon in an election in November 2020.

A U.S.-trained economist, she has since pushed for closer links between the former Soviet republic and the EU, and set the objectives of combating corruption and halting mass emigration that has hit the country's economy.

During his visit ending on September 30, Steinmeier is also to hold talks with Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita and to open a German-Moldovan business forum along with Sandu.

He is accompanied by a business delegation.

With reporting by dpa