During the last 10-15 years, Europe has been increasingly crisscrossed with dividing geopolitical and ideological lines. Regretfully in certain cases these fault lines turned into real frontlines. Moldova finds itself not on one or another side of such a geopolitical fault line, but a country where this line is effectively crossing the territory, breaks up the society, and most importantly the mindset of people – not least as a result of the still unresolved conflict with the breakaway region of Transnistria.

Minister Galbur will address two sets of objectives that are critically important for Moldova: the systemic modernization of the country and the need to keep the country stable by increasing its resilience, reducing internal divisions, and resolving the Transnistrian conflict.

The key question for Moldova is – will it be able to promote these goals in current conditions of a crumbling liberal order, rise of political populism and euro-skepticism, resurrection of economic protectionism and, last but not least, the return of brutal geopolitics into inter-state relations?

Andrei Galbur is a career diplomat within the Moldovan Foreign Service with over 20 years of diplomatic experience. He's been posted both in the Western and in the Eastern geopolitical divides, having served in Washington, Vienna and most recently as Ambassador in Moscow during the onset of the Ukraine crisis, when his country became subject to various embargoes imposed by Russia. Now as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova he is tasked with advancing the country's European path, while contributing to the normalization of relations with the Russian Federation and enhancing strategic partnerships beyond the immediate region.

Chair is Senior Research Fellow at NUPI Helge Blakkisrud.