Czech Republic Diplomacy Energy Moldova Ukraine

Blinken visits Czechia, Moldova to talk Ukraine, disinformation, upcoming NATO summit

| 2024-05-31 2 min read

Blinken visits Czechia, Moldova to talk Ukraine, disinformation, upcoming NATO summit

Reading Time: 2 minutes

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken travelled to Chisinau, Moldova and Prague, Czechia, from May 28-31, to discuss energy, defence and the NATO summit in Washington DC scheduled for early July. 

In Chisinau, Blinken met with Moldovan President Maia Sandu to show support for the European country’s progress on energy security and EU accession.  

Blinken said “We are partnering with Moldova to help reduce their dependence on Russian energy and modernize their power system. At the substation I visited today, I saw how our partnership is resulting in proven, innovative solutions and infrastructure to strengthen Moldova’s power system.

“The US and Moldova are working to deliver for our people – strengthening Moldova’s democracy and supporting a path to EU accession, especially in the face of Russia’s aggression in the region. President President Maia Sandu’s leadership has been admirable at an incredibly challenging time. When we met in Chisinau today, I reaffirmed our unwavering support for Moldova’s EU accession,” Blinken added.

Sandu wrote on Facebook that “Secretary Blinken came with a strong message of support for Moldova and for the path of peace, democracy and prosperity that we have chosen. Moldova deeply appreciates this constant support and lasting friendship of the US.

“Supporting the US people means concrete benefits for Moldovans – energy security, electric lines that connect us to the European network, help paying bills, modernising agriculture and increasing exports, development of the wine industry, modernising gardens, increasing our tourist potential,” Sandu added.

Blinken praises Czech contribution to defence of Ukraine

In Prague Blinken met Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky to discuss  support for Ukraine, collaborative defence modernisation, and strengthening energy links.

On Ukraine, Blinken noted that Czechia has “sent USD 600mn in direct military aid, trained thousands of Ukrainian soldiers, and welcomed over 600,000 refugees. It was great to see their efforts first-hand today,” he said.

Blinken also participated in an informal NATO foreign ministers meeting ahead of the NATO Washington Summit scheduled for 9-11 July, which he called “a critical meeting for us to… finalise the substance for the summit”.

Ukraine is very high on our agenda, Lipavsky said at a joint press conference with Blinken, adding that “we need a strategy to contain Russia, we need a strategy to stop Russian imperialistic ambition at Ukraine’s border.”

Lipavsky added that he and Blinken had “also shared our concerns about reports of increasing exports from China for Russia’s military-industrial complex, which is key for sustaining Russia’s brutal campaign against Ukraine… bilateral cooperation in the energy domain, where we already enjoy very fruitful collaboration on a number of projects.

Lipavsky lauds signing of disinformation memo

Mentioning “the other important part of our meeting” Lipavsky recalled that Czechia and the US had jointly signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Countering Foreign Disinformation. 

“Signing the MOU today presents a clear signal that our countries see foreign information manipulation and interference as a threat. Malign foreign actors wish to undermine trust in democratic institutions, and we are facing a confrontation between democracies and autocracies,” Lipavsky said.

“Through the framework that we’ve established, we have partnerships with countries to work together to help develop the capacity, to develop the technical means, to develop the human resources, to develop the organisational structures and institutions, to develop the collaboration, necessarily, to effectively deal with misinformation and disinformation, which is a poison being injected into our democracies by our adversaries,” Lipavsky added.  

After the meeting, Blinken tweeted: “Good to meet with Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky in Prague today. I commend Czechia for becoming the 17th government to work with us and other allies to counter foreign disinformation.”