International aid conference aims to help Moldova weather energy crisis and neighbouring war

France is hosting a conference in support of Moldova on Monday to provide international aid as the country faces a refugee crisis, blackouts, and security threats due to the war in neighbouring Ukraine.

Moldova, a former Soviet republic of 2.6 million people, has suffered severe consequences from the war on its borders including Russia halving its gas supplies.

"We must help the population hold on," French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna told journalists, adding that material and financial aid will be granted on Monday.

The "International Support Platform for Moldova" was launched by Germany, France and Romania.

The previous conferences in Berlin and Bucharest raised hundreds of millions of euros for the small country, but as the war drags on, its needs are growing.

"Russia has cut off a good part of the gas it usually delivers to Moldova and, moreover, electricity exports from Ukraine are no longer possible due to the bombardments on Ukrainian infrastructure," said Colonna.

Moldova also has no gas storage capacity.

Around 45 delegations representing the EU, US and international organisations will be present at the conference in France, according to a diplomatic source.

Moldova was granted EU candidate status along with Ukraine over the summer.

"It is in our interest to support and accompany" Moldova in its economic reform efforts, said Colonna.