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Closer Ties With EU Cannot Replace Full Membership, Moldovan PM Says.

Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita (file photo)

Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita (file photo)

Moldovan Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita has welcomed moves to step up cooperation with the European Union, but says such initiatives cannot replace the actual process of joining the bloc.

Chisinau has pressed ahead with efforts to join the EU after Russia invaded Ukraine and launched a war that is threatening to spill over into Moldova.
"We welcome any mechanism for bringing us closer together, improving our cooperation, as long as this does not replace the path to membership," Gavrilita told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on May 25.
French President Emmanuel Macron earlier this month suggested that instead of offering full membership in the 27-member bloc, a parallel entity should be created that could appeal to aspiring countries such as Ukraine, Georgia, or Moldova -- a "European political community" that would be open to democratic European nations adhering to the EU's core values. But Gavrilita said that only full membership in the bloc would offer aspiring countries full benefits and a stable place in a value-shared community such as the EU. "We strongly believe that membership in the European Union is actually what distributes this peace, stability, value-based prosperity, and we want to be part of the free world and of this EU family," she said.

With reporting by Reuters

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