Chişinau, Moldova

10 May 2022

Secretary-General's remarks to the press at the Chişinau Refugee Center

Secretary-General: It is impossible to meet refugees and not be deeply moved by their stories.  People that fled bombardments of their cities. One couple was telling me of a bomb that fell in their yard.  People that have abandoned everything, including part of the family, because, as you know, men are not allowed to leave the country. So, this tragedy demonstrates that war is a senseless thing, and that this war must stop. There is no military solution for the problems that we are facing. We absolutely need to stop this war and we absolutely need to see international law prevail.

At the same time, I am impressed by the extraordinary generosity of the people and the government of Moldova. Ninety-five percent of the refugees are in houses. Moldovans have opened their borders but have also opened their homes and their hearts with an enormous generosity, but Moldova is in a very difficult situation. Of the countries receiving refugees, Moldova is the only one that is not a member of European Union and that faces a very dramatic economic crisis.

So my strong appeal to the international community is that we need massive support to Moldova; we need to correspond to their generosity with the same kind of generosity that is also the enlightened self-interest of the countries of the region because Moldova is also in the front line of all the risks of security for this region. So my appeal is, please, all those that have power of decision in international institutions or in countries that have economic capacity, please make the support to Moldova an important priority in your response to this dramatic crisis created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Question: What kind of support does Moldova need in this crisis?

Secretary-General: First of all, Moldova needs massive financial support. Moldova has a very difficult economic situation, the prices of food and fuel energy have increased dramatically. The people of Moldova are witnessing more and more the growth of poverty. So, the country is in deep economic trouble and receiving such a large number of refugees. Moldova needs massive support from the international community.

Question: Can the UN give any safety guarantees to Moldova?

Secretary-General: The UN does not have an army. The UN is not military power. But the best I can say is that I was impressed by the wisdom of the leadership in Moldova, especially in dealing with the intercommunal questions that you have to make sure that this country is preserved from any negative impact the Ukrainian war.

Thank you very much.