Moldova Declares State Of Emergency, Closes Airspace, Is ‘On Alert’


By Madalin Necsutu

Moldovan President Maia Sandu on Thursday said parliament will be asked to declare a state of emergency over the gathering war in Ukraine, adding that the country was “on alert” and ready to receive refugees from Ukraine.

Russian forces conducted multiple strikes on Ukraine on Thursday in what the US described as a full-scale invasion.

Moldova’s Emergency Situations Commission will be summoned on Thursday to take the necessary actions to manage this crisis and any humanitarian challenges.

“I ask Moldovan citizens who are visiting or staying in Ukraine to return home. All border crossings are open and with additional staff. Several flights from Ukraine landed in [the Moldovan capital] Chisinau today. We will take care of these people,” Sandu said.

Moldova’s pro-EU head of state also law enforcement had been alerted and police patrols will boost their activities to prevent possible challenges.

“Dear citizens, all state institutions are on alert. There is a crisis management centre. However, our priority is still the security of the people,” Sandu said.

Sandu said there was already an increase in the transit flow at the Moldovan-Ukrainian border, and state institutions were responding.

The president said people who needed support would be helped, and the country was ready to accommodate tens of thousands of people coming from Ukraine. Several scenarios are also being prepared in case refugee flows increase, she added.

On Thursday, the Supreme Security Council, CSS, recommended the closure of Moldova’s airspace due to the war launched by Russia in Ukraine, Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Spinu informed on Facebook.

“Taking into account the situation in the region, the CSS recommended the closure of Moldovan airspace. The Civil Aviation Authority will execute this. The airspace will be closed starting at 12am. Flights will be directed to other airports,” Spinu said.

The Defence Ministry denied “false information circulated by part of the Chisinau press on Thursday”, that Russia had attacked Ukraine from the breakaway Russian-supported region of Transnistria.

Defence officials said that media should not circulate such sensitive information without proper confirmation. “We urge media representatives not to distribute unconfirmed information,” the ministry said.

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (formerly the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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