Britain believes that the best way to protect Moldova from a Russian attack is not by sending it military support, but by protecting Ukraine, according to Foreign Minister James Cleverly.
"We strongly believe that one of the best ways of protecting Moldova from physical attack is helping the Ukrainians defend themselves against Russian aggression," Cleverly said Thursday at a press conference during an official state visit to Moldova.
“Few societies understand the underhand tactics of Russian malign activity more than Moldova and Georgia,” said Cleverly, adding that “the UK will not stand idly by while Moscow blatantly undermines their democracy, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The visit is part of the United Kingdom’s plan to announce additional financial support for Moldova and Georgia.
Moldova is set to receive more than $12 million (£10 million) in "funding for economic and governance reforms, including in the energy sector.”
“The new pledge for Moldova comes on top of the £12 million (over 14 million dollars) already contributing to critical anti-corruption and transparency work in the country,” a UK government statement said Thursday.
Cleverly will also announce a more than $600,000 (£500,000) contribution “aimed at creating an environment for free and fair elections in 2024, protecting them from external interference.”
“The UK is ramping up its financial support to Moldova and Georgia, as they continue to suffer from the destabilising impact of Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine,” the statement said.