European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced a €250 million support package for Moldova to help the country overcome a severe winter energy crisis, AP reported.
She said Moldova will receive 100 million euros in grants and an equal amount more in loans from the EU to help the country meet its gas needs this winter, starting January 1. An additional 50 million euros will be used to help the country's most vulnerable citizens, von der Leyen said at a joint news conference with Moldova's pro-Western president, Maia Sandu.
"European solidarity with the Republic of Moldova is unshakable," von der Leyen said. "We assure you that we will do our best to help you through this crisis."
Moldova, which has a population of about 2.6 million, depends entirely on natural gas supplies from Russia. But Russia has cut its gas supply in half in recent weeks, triggering an unprecedented energy crisis on the eve of winter.
Sandu said Moscow is using gas as "political blackmail" in the country. "We are facing the worst energy crisis in three decades," Sandu added. "A crisis in which energy resources are being used as weapons against democracy."