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CHISINAU — The International Monetary Fund will increase financial support to Moldova to help it withstand the extra pressure created by the arrival of over 270,000 refugees from Ukraine, an IMF representative said on Friday.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Moldova’s prime minister, IMF mission chief to Moldova Ruben Atoyan said discussions on the amount of support were underway with the government.

The funds will be in addition to the $590.6 million aid package the Fund approved for Moldova in December, when it disbursed a first tranche of around $84 million to support reforms in one of Europe’s poorest countries.

Since then, over 270,300 people have crossed into Moldova to escape Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Around 105,000 of these refugees have stayed, according to government figures from Thursday.

The war has also accelerated Moldova’s plan to join the European Union. One week after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb 24, Moldovan President Maia Sandu signed a formal application to join the bloc.

(Writing by Alessandra Prentice, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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