Constitution of the
Republic of Moldova

Press statement by President Maia Sandu at the joint press conference with Switzerland's President Alain Berset

Thank you, Mr President,

Ladies and gentlemen, 

It is a great honour to be here paying an official visit to Switzerland. It is yet another symbol of the strength of our bilateral relations. Moldova and Switzerland are both countries striving to promote peace, justice, strengthen international law and support multilateralism.

Let me start by saying a big thank you to both the government and the Swiss people for the valuable support that you have given my country since Russia’s brutal war on our neighbour, Ukraine. 

I am especially grateful for the generous support package for Moldova which has been announced in recent days, at the Moldova Support Platform. This support from Switzerland will have a direct, positive impact on people’s lives. 

We are also very grateful for the humanitarian aid extended during the refugee crisis which followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Over a million Ukrainians found a temporary refuge in Moldova, and about 80,000 chose to stay. Without help from Switzerland and others, we would not have coped. 

Much of our discussions yesterday focussed on Russia's war against Ukraine and its impact on Moldova and the rest of Europe. I believe that it remains important that all of us in Europe and elsewhere carry on supporting Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty. We cannot afford war fatigue. Ukraine is fighting for us all. 

As Ukraine is resisting a military invasion, Moldova is fending off Russia’s hybrid attacks. 

I would also like to thank Switzerland for its help in our battle against the corruption used by Russia's proxies to undermine Moldova. Sanctions imposed by the Swiss government, against those who threaten our stability, send a powerful message: Moldova is not alone. Integrity and good governance are the values we share with the rest of the democratic world and we will safeguard them together.

As part of limiting the damage of these corrupt oligarchs, it is important that we begin recovering assets which they stole from our citizens and moved abroad. 

The partnership between Moldova and Switzerland also extends to crucial areas such as security. The recent inauguration of the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance’s office in Chișinău underscores our shared understanding that Moldova’s security is intertwined with that of Europe. Together, we are committed to fostering a safer, more stable, and prosperous continent.

The Geneva Centre made an important contribution to developing Moldova’s recently launched security strategy. 

Our vision for national security prioritises joining the EU to ensure our country’s safety and progress. Moldova’s EU membership is the only way to consolidate our democratic gains, protect from Russia’s hostile actions and from corruption - the two biggest threats to our national security.

When it comes to the economy, we look forward to the ratification of the trade agreement with the EFTA countries so that more economic opportunities open up. 

In our meeting with President Berset, we suggested a revival of the Intergovernmental Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation next year to boost trade and investment. 

I am also pleased that we formalised our commitment to social security cooperation. The Joint Declaration we signed with Mr President yesterday paves the way to a comprehensive agreement in the coming months, ensuring that Moldovan and Swiss workers’ rights are mutually upheld and respected. 

Colleagues from our governments have also formally agreed to cooperate in the field of tourism. 

Switzerland has my thanks for continuing to stand with us through its international development programmes. Over the years, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation has been instrumental in supporting social institutions in Moldova, renovating care homes for the elderly and creating a network of mental health centres - just to name a few examples of how your cooperation improves lives in my country. 

Cultural initiatives, such as Chisinau’s Ethno Jazz Festival, have been benefiting from Swiss support for many years now. 

This extensive agenda of cooperation and our collective achievements are fruits of the intensified political dialogue in recent years. Hosting President Berset at the European Political Community summit on June 1st, and several visits of Mr. Cassis to Chisinau, including this week, stand as testimony to our robust engagement. I would like to see this dialogue continue as we explore the potential that lies within our cooperation.

May our relationship continue to prosper and bring benefits for both of our countries. Thank you.