Foreign Secretary visits region, backs Moldova and Georgia vs threat

  • Foreign Secretary will announce new funding to boost regional resilience against Russian malign interference
  • UK to underline support for territorial integrity and sovereignty as part of work with Russia’s neighbours to deal with the threat on their doorstep
  • Funding will support governance reforms and fair elections and builds on anti-corruption programmes

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.

On a visit to the two countries (16-17 March), Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will announce an extra £10million to support economic and governance reforms in Moldova, and new funding to strengthen the security of next year’s elections in Georgia.

Cleverly will reiterate that the UK stands with the people of Moldova and Georgia in defending their democratic choice to pursue a path of freedom, independence and sovereignty.

Ahead of the visit, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said:

Few societies understand the underhand tactics of Russian malign activity more than Moldova and Georgia.

The UK will not stand idly by while Moscow blatantly undermines their democracy, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

We must reinforce their resilience to Russia’s hybrid threats, safeguard the democratic choices of their people and protect them from the threat on their doorstep.

Both countries are vulnerable as they suffer from the effects of the Kremlin’s hybrid tactics, aggression and attempts to extend Russian control over the region. The Foreign Secretary will demonstrate the UK’s unwavering commitment to protecting their territorial integrity and sovereignty.

While in Chișinău, the Foreign Secretary will announce UK government plans to bolster Moldova’s resilience to this malign interference through an additional £10million of funding for economic and governance reforms, including in the energy sector.

In Georgia, Cleverly will see how UK cooperation is helping to counter subversive Russian meddling, including collaboration on defence and cyber security.

To help strengthen democracy in Georgia, the UK will also be providing £500,000 aimed at creating an environment for free and fair elections in 2024, protecting them from external interference.

The new provisions to be announced during the Foreign Secretary’s visit build on the UK Government’s existing support to both countries.

The new pledge for Moldova comes on top of the £12million already contributing to critical anti-corruption and transparency work in the country.

Work is also underway to help Moldova strengthen its defences against cyber-attacks, combat pro-Russian disinformation, reform the armed forces, build a stronger economy and tackle corruption. This is accompanied by a further £10million of support for UN agencies providing to provide essential services and financial help to Ukrainian refugees and the Moldovan citizens that are hosting them.

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