State Visit from Moldova to Norway: May 6 - 7, 2024

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Site Team
Jan 29, 2005

Following the invitation of King Harald and Queen Sonja Moldovan President Maia Sandu will pay a state visit to Norway from May 6 to May 7, 2024, it was announced today, April 5.

It is the first time a Moldovan president visits Norway, and the state visit marks the strengthening of ties between Norway and Moldova in recent years. The state visit starts on Monday May 6 with an official welcome ceremony at Slottsplassen, a wreath-laying at Akershus Fortress and a meeting with Storting President Masud Gharahkhani and the Storting's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. The day ends with a gala dinner at the Royal Palace hosted by King Harald and Queen Sonja. The program for Tuesday May 7 includes a meeting with Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre followed by a press conference. President Sandu will also hold a lecture at the University of Oslo.

Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine has had major consequences for Moldova. The authorities have had to deal with a deep crisis for the economy, energy supply and national security. At the same time, Moldova has accepted a large number of refugees from the neighboring country and has also begun extensive reform work.The state visit emphasizes Norwegian support and solidarity with Moldova. Within the framework of the Nansen programme, Norway contributes to handling the crises in Moldova, and supports the country's democratic reforms and closer cooperation with the rest of Europe. Norway has also decided to open an embassy office in Moldova's capital Chisinau to follow up the support and further strengthen connections.The program for the state visit is still being prepared and will be announced later.
Hopefully the king will have fully recovered at that time. That's two statevisits in a short amount of time (with the incoming statevisit of Denmark around the corner as well).
And during the same days as the Danish state visit to Sweden…. A lot to do for the scandinavian journalists then ;)
Moldova is very much working on getting political support from as many countries as possible and the country is in desperate need of investments, being the poorest country in Europe.
It doesn't exactly help that about 40% of the country, which isn't big by any standard to begin with, is controlled by Russian separatists. As such the Moldovans live in constant and real fear of being taken over by Russia. And had the war in Ukraine gone just marginally better for Russia it would already have happened. They have certainly tried!
They very much desire to seek safety with EU, but the economic conditions are to put it mildly not right. A membership of NATO is also desired, but as Moldova is having an internal conflict vis a vis the self-proclaimed separatist republic of Transnistri within Moldova, that is not politically possible either.
So they seek political help and if need be hard support. Norway has been one of the much staunch supporters of Ukraine and is in the top among countries in delivering weapons to Ukraine by capita. And being a rich country, perhaps Norway will invest in Moldova?
But the future of Moldova is pretty dire.
EU as a whole is not that interested because giant sums of money are right now used on reorganizing the energy sector and enegy-infrastructure as well as on rearmament. So investing in a country that may not even exist in ten years isn't particularly appetizing.
Romania may very well and eventually absorb Moldova - minus Transnistri into Romania. But the eagerness really isn't that big, because they will be taking over a dirt-poor province and also border a most likely volatile Transnistri. For many in Romania it's more palatable with Moldova as a buffer.
And with France again talking about intervening militarily in Ukraine, if need be alone, the prospect of Romanian troops also moving into Moldova seems very much a probability. And that means the Moldovian government will be reduced to a rubberstamp in Bucharest. - All in all not the most alluring prospect for attracting foreign investments.
The state visit from Moldova has started today.

After the welcome ceremony with King Harald, Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit will accompany President Maia Sandu to Akershus Fortress where the President will lay a wreath at the national monument.

King Harald and Queen Sonja will host an official luncheon at the Royal Palace. Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Princess Astrid will attend.

This evening a gala dinner in honour of President Maia Sandu will be held at the Royal Palace.

** gallery ** gettyimages gallery **

** kongehuset: Statsbesøk fra Moldova ** ppe gallery **
More photos:

Photo from the gala dinner:

Norway is expanding its cooperation with Moldova and providing a new NOK 350 million from the Nansen programme.
On the second day of the state visit today, May 7, Crown Prince Haakon accompanied President Maia Sandu to the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation and to the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs.

Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit attended the Government's luncheon in honour of President Maia Sandu. Afterwards a visit to the University of Oslo and a cultural event at the Grand Hotel Oslo will conclude the state visit.

** gallery **
It's clearly state visit season as recently we also had the state visits of Belgium/Luxembourg and the Netherlands/Spain clash.
Changes during this state visit as opposed to previous ones:

1) The King was not present during the wreath-laying ceremony at the national monument at Akershus Fortress.

2) The King did not attend the Norwegian government's luncheon.

3) The King did not attend the return event.

Neither the Queen was present, only the CP-Couple.

This is in line with the statement from the palace that there would be a permanent reduction in the number and scope of activities in which the King participates.

Another change during this state visit was that the gift exchange at the palace was moved from the White Drawing Room on the first floor to the Hall of Mirrors on the second floor.
Why was it done? I have no idea! But perhaps they wanted to keep everything on the second floor since both the official photographing, luncheon and gala dinner take place there.
The King had invited his personal doktor Bjørn Bendz and his wife who is a cardiological nurse to the gala dinner at the state visit.

He had also invited the very republican political editor of Aftenposten Kjetil Alstadheim who has recently been in tug of words with Trond Noren Isaksen about wether Ingrid Alexandra should be able to stand in for the King, he thinks No of course. And he described in his podcast how he was struggeling with the dresscode (unlike the doctor who looked perfect) and chose his darkest suit. He has covered the political side of this visit though, and even if this visit will not get a fraction of the attention as next weeks visit it seems to be politically much more important and much of the coverage was in the news section and not the entertainment sections
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