VILNIUS – As Moldova is rocked by anti-government protests, Romania is proposing creating of a separate sanction regime to help combat attempts to destabilize the country, Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said in Vilnius on Monday after meeting with Lithuania's top diplomat Gabrielius Landsbergis.
"I highlighted the importance of creating a separate sanction regime to counter the destabilizing actions in the Republic of Moldova, as I proposed at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on February 20," Aurescu said, adding that he's determined to support Moldova's resilience in every possible way.
Aurescu also hopes Romania will join the Schengen Area later this year.
In December, Bulgaria and Romania's applications to join the Schengen Area were blocked. Meanwhile, the EU backed Croatia's accession at the time.
Amid escalating tensions between Moscow and Chisinau, fugitive pro-Russian oligarch Ilhan Shor'spolitical party has pooled people in recent weeks again to protest against the pro-European government.
On Sunday, Moldovan police said they had arrested members of a Moscow-organized network ahead of an anti-government protest. They allegedly sought to destabilize the country.
Representatives of this network have organized several rallies and allegedly paid money for people to attend them.
A new protest took place in Chisinau on Sunday.
The White House has accused Russia of seeking to destabilize Romania and wanting to put a pro-Russian government in place.
Previously under Russian influence, Moldova is now governed by a firmly pro-European government.