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Moldovan Prime Minister Secures $45 Million In Aid In Brussels

Moldovan Prime Minister Maia Sandu (file photo)
Moldovan Prime Minister Maia Sandu (file photo)

Moldova's new Prime Minister Maia Sandu visited Brussels on July 24 where she signed three financial assistance agreements worth $45 million with Johannes Hahn, the EU's enlargement commissioner.

The money is for economic development ($26 million), establishing the rule of law ($9 million), and for implementing an Association Agreement ($10 million).

Hahn praised the work Sandu has done since she became prime minister in June of the impoverished country nestled between Ukraine and Romania.

Mentioning that the European Commission dispersed $16 million to Moldova on July 23, Hahn said the money followed "the progress made by the Moldovan government in respect to the rule of law and anti-corruption efforts."

Regarding fighting graft, Maia said "we are in the process of selecting a new prosecutor-general who, we hope, is going to have enough courage, professionalism to start working on…corruption cases…[and] reform” the prosecution system.

Sandu said that "corruption" became "really big" under the previous regime.

"I'm surprised every day to find out about [yet] another corruption scheme in a state enterprise, in a public institution. So we are flooded now with this information about corruption schemes, and the prosecution still doesn't work," she said.

The new government of Moldova, composed of the pro-European ACUM group and the pro-Russia Socialist Party, was formed last month after months of political deadlock that followed inconclusive parliamentary elections in February.

Sandu has pledged to improve ties with the EU as her government's priority.

Before meeting with Hahn, the Moldovan prime minister attended the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee meeting.

And before her departure, she briefly met with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.