The Moldovan crisis at the EU borders: a replica of the Ukrainian past

External Relations

In her article published by the Economist, Alina Inayev, of the Black Sea Trust, defined Moldova an “activated ticking bomb”.

In facts, Moldova is sinking in a wide and sticky crisis, risking to undermine the difficult relations between Brussels and Moscow, at the borders of the EU. The crisis arose due to the settlement of a new government, sponsored by those political parties considered Europeists, even if the new Executive has been already blamed of corruption in the European poorest country, wedged in between Romania and Ukraine. And, exactly as its Ukrainian predecessor, also Moldova is struggling for confronting the desirability of an European future and the ghost of its own Soviet past.

More than simple ideology, the confrontation between Soviets and Europeists in Moldova is hugely rooted in business and international affairs. The uprising of the last days against the new government – which is going substitute the last Europeist Executive, that received a vote of no confidence in October – made Moldova and its long-lasting crisis back in the news again. On the other hand, also the new Prime Minister Pavel Filip stands in the eye of the storm due to the close relations with the first Moldovan oligarch, Vlad Plahotniuc.

The protest movement that spawned a small tent city is calling for a nationwide strike and civil disobedience. Photo credits:

The protest movement that spawned a small tent city is calling for a nationwide strike and civil disobedience. Photo credits:

During the protests in front of the Parliament in Chisinau, the capital, protected by the police in the aftermath of the clashes of the day before, thousands of people blamed the Parliament of having super-secretly given green light to the new Government, while the opposition is now demanding to immediately come back to vote. Andrei Nastase, leader of the opposition, affirmed that protests have been organized because of the clear impact of Plahotniuc on the future Executive. During the riots on the 20th of January, when the Police responded to the assault to the Parliament, 31 people got injured, where 27 of them were police agents.

After meeting those leaders of the protests, Andrian Candu, President of the Parliament, declared that there are not sufficient reasons in order to come back to the ballot boxes, and asked everyone to give a chance to the Government to show how it will work. From Moscow, Dmitrij Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, invited all the parts to respect the law and avoid any sort of violent demonstration. The U.S. Embassy in Moldova has expressed the same message, but on the other hand, the delegation expressively asked for a better resolution of the problems underlined by the opposition.

In Moldova, as a replica of what happened in Ukraine, the Association Agreement signed with the EU in 2014 provoked the reaction of Russia, which complains about the impact that this agreement will exert on its commercial relations with the country, where the 78% of the population is composed by ethnic Romanians, while the 14% is divided between Russians and Ukrainians. Corruption and instability of the Europeists parties will probably play the game of pro-Russian parties, in a country that has already watched its eastern part – Transdnistria – declaring its separation from the motherland, backed by Russia.

In order to help the economy, Moldova – where the average salary is 200 dollars per month – is bargaining new aids with the International Monetary Fund, but the lack of political stability and a weak Government it does not help its expectations.

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