Macron ‘hopes’ Moldova also gets EU candidate status, remains silent on Georgia – POLITICO

Macron ‘hopes’ Moldova also gets EU candidate status, remains silent on Georgia – POLITICO


French President Emmanuel Macron said he hoped Moldova will be granted EU candidate status alongside Ukraine ahead of the European Council meeting next week, but stayed conspicuously silent on Georgia.

After a closely watched visit to Kyiv where Macron, with Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis, officially backed Ukraine’s bid to join the bloc, the French president said Moldova “can become a candidate.”

“The courage of Ukrainian men and women, their willingness to resist, makes us send this signal, I hope it will also be sent to its fragile neighbor Moldova, which also has separatist movements,” Macron told BFMTV in his executive railcar on the train back from Kyiv.

However, Macron is not advocating for a blitz candidacy. Granting the candidate status, Macron said at the beginning of the interview, means starting a process that “can last for years.”

In recent days, Macron was keen to stress that Moldova’s application should be considered in the context of Russia’s war on neighboring Ukraine. Meanwhile, there is no word from the French president on Georgia. The Caucasus country had applied to join the bloc the same day as Moldova, right at the start of the war, and the European Commission is expected to deliver its verdict Friday on the candidate status of all three countries, before next week’s meeting of European leaders.

During a visit to Moldova earlier this week, Macron stressed the need for fairness towards countries in Western Balkans, who have been waiting to join the bloc for many years. But Georgia, Macron said, is in “a different place geopolitically.” This marked a major blow for successive Georgian governments, which have been seeking closer ties with Brussels for years.




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