SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, good evening, everyone. It’s a great pleasure and, I would say, actually an honor to be with President Sandu, someone whose leadership in an incredibly challenging time we greatly admire. And we stand strongly with Moldova in support of its security, its independence, its territorial integrity, the very important reform efforts that the president and the government are making. At the same time, we have deep concern about some of the plotting that we’ve seen coming from Russia to try to destabilize the government, but appreciate, of course, the efforts that – the good efforts being made by Moldova to protect against that.
We spent some time talking about the number one focus of the government and of the president, and that is on the economy and on helping to continue to improve the lives and the futures of Moldovans. I think Moldova has been, not of its own making, in a perfect storm of challenges coming from outside that have had a big impact inside Moldova. But the government has a strong reform program but also a strong economic program.
Energy is a big component of that. The United States remains a strong supporter of the efforts that Moldova’s making to diversify its energy supply so that it can have real resilience, and of course the prices will come down. And we will continue the work that we’re doing to support Moldova’s economy, the energy sector reform, and also of course its security. And we very much look forward to working with the very – the new government in the weeks and months ahead.
So Madam President, thank you. As always, very good to be with you.
PRESIDENT SANDU: Dear Secretary of State, as you know, 2022 has been an incredibly difficult year for Moldova. The United States have been by our sides at every step of us managing the difficult challenges in energy, economy, security. You have helped us provide compensations to people so that they could afford to buy – to pay for heating and gas and electricity. You also helped us diversify the energy resources. In the economic area, you helped us support the small and medium enterprises because they had to face a very high inflation. Some of them lost the markets because of the war in Ukraine.
And you’ve been helping us in strengthening our security. You have been helping us modernizing the army, dealing – fighting the cyber threats and disinformation. And on behalf of the Moldovan citizens, I would like to thank you, to thank the United States for the comprehensive assistance that we have been receiving.