From 31 March to 2 April, a European Parliament delegation traveled to the Republic of Moldova against the backdrop of a worsening security situation in Europe. In Chisinau, seven members of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and Subcommittee on Security and Defence led by Urmas Paet (Renew Europe, Estonia) and Nathalie Loiseau (Renew Europe, France) met with Moldova’s top political leadership, including President Maia Sandu, Speaker of the Parliament Igor Grosu, Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița, and Defence Minister Anatolie Nosatîi.
In the context of that visit, on 1 April, EUBAM joined the European Parliament delegation on its fact-finding visit to Palanca – Udobne – Mayaki jointly operated border crossing point (JOBCP), operational at the Moldova – Ukraine border. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, that JOBCP has become one of the main transit hubs for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the horrors of war through the South of the country. There, the EUBAM team, Moldovan authorities, and representatives of UNHCR, IOM, and EU Civil Protection Mechanism Team, together with the delegation, examined the situation on the ground and discussed how Moldovan authorities are managing the crisis and what kind of the support is still needed.
Head of Border Police of the Republic of Moldova, Rosian Vasiloi, provided a briefing on the challenges faced by the Agency in the context of the refugees’ crisis at the border and presented how the Border Police is managing the refugees’ flow as well as presented the extraordinary measures undertaken since 24 February.
In his part, Head of Mission, Slawomir Pichor, briefed the delegation on EUBAM’s priority actions in response to the current refugee crisis highlighting the support EUBAM provided to vulnerable migrants in border crossing, and Partner Services in facilitating refugee flow management.
EUBAM, together with the European Parliament delegation, also visited the refugee-support infrastructure at the JOBCP and met Ukrainians crossing the border. At the same time, the visitors had an opportunity to meet volunteers and representatives of the Moldovan authorities who coordinate the efforts of meeting and accommodating refugees.