Today 21 August 2019, Wensday - Last updated at ora 13:39
Abonamente

News 29 June 2019, at 09:01

The Washington Post: Wait — why are the U.S., Russia and the E.U. suddenly cooperating in Moldova?

Marime Font

And can the government they installed survive?

Why are Russia, the United States and the European Union suddenly cooperating in Moldova, a former Soviet Republic, to support a new government led by a pro-E.U. prime minister? The alliance hardly seems likely, considering the political warfare that has included economic sanctions, disinformation campaigns and sharp competition for supremacy in the lands between Russia and the European Union.

And yet even the pro-Russian president of Moldova called the new government “a success of East-West diplomacy and ... probably a bridge between the West and the Russian Federation.”


Here’s what you need to know.

Moldova was locked in a political stalemate

Moldova held parliamentary elections in February — but until June 8, none of the parties could either rule on its own or form a coalition government with the others.

The pro-E.U. ACUM bloc, led by Maia Sandu, a former World Bank official, refused to cooperate with the corrupt and nominally pro-E.U. Democratic Party of Moldova, accusing its government of seeking to poison her and her co-candidate Andrei Năstase during the campaign. ACUM also deeply opposed the corruption of the Democrat-led government that it believed had discredited the E.U. integration project in Moldova.

The pro-Russian Socialist Party, by contrast, appeared to welcome a coalition with the ruling Democrats. Like other analysts, we saw this as the most likely basis for a new government.

Then came international intervention

But this outcome was vetoed by the Kremlin, which called the Democrats’ leader, oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc, a “toxic” coalition partner and told the Socialists not to bite the “poisoned apple.” The Kremlin did not want a powerful, independent and often anti-Russian oligarch to consolidate rule over Moldova’s politics and economy.

Instead, the Kremlin supported an improbable anti-Plahotniuc coalition between the pro-E.U. ACUM bloc and the pro-Russian Socialists. Negotiations took a long time. Neither side was prepared to ally with its geopolitical rival intent on pushing Moldova in opposite directions. The ACUM bloc wants Moldova to join the E.U. The Socialists want Moldova to join the Eurasian Union, Russia’s competing economic alliance.

It took a spate of international diplomacy to force a compromise. Visitors to Moldova included the E.U. Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn, the U.S. State Department Director of Eastern European Affairs Brad Freden, and Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Kozak, who is in charge of relations with Moldova. Finally, on June 8, the Socialists and the ACUM bloc announced that they were forming a “partnership” — not a coalition — with the goal of ousting the ruling Democratic Party and curtailing corruption and oligarchic influence in the country.

The West and Russia agreed to support a government coalition between ACUM and the Socialists — to squeeze Plahotniuc and his Democratic Party from power and reduce his massive influence over domestic political institutions.

The oligarch’s last stand

But Plahotniuc was not to be discarded so easily. His ruling Democrats refused to recognize the new Sandu government, arguing that the time limit for forming a new government had passed. Plahotniuc’s allies in the Constitutional Court declared the government invalid and, with no legitimate justification, voted to remove President Igor Dodon from office. The court appointed outgoing Prime Minister Pavel Filip as interim president in his place. Filip promptly disbanded parliament — which refused to leave — and called new elections. The Democrats then occupied the main government building, including the Interior Ministry and the General Prosecutor’s Office, protected by loyal policemen and sympathizers. For seven days, Moldova had two presidents and two prime ministers.

Russian and Western envoys, including U.S. Ambassador Dereck J. Hogan, then joined to persuade Plahotniuc to stand down to prevent violence. After Plahotniuc and his political associates met with the U.S. ambassador’s delegation, the Democratic Party announced that it was stepping down to avoid violence and that its leader had temporarily left the country. Rumors circulated that Plahotniuc and associates had fled the coming purge and probable criminal investigations against him, his associates and his business operations. However, Sandu stated that “all of those responsible, including Plahotniuc, will be brought back to Moldova and held accountable.”

So Russian and Western leaders closely cooperated on wresting Moldova from the control of its leading oligarch.

Will the new coalition government endure?

That’s hard to imagine. The two parties have little in common beyond the desire to purge Plahotniuc from power. Sandu announced that her government will move forward swiftly with closer relations between Moldova and the E.U., while at the same time welcoming greater economic cooperation with Russia. But these goals are mutually exclusive. New elections are planned as soon as Plahotniuc’s associates are sufficiently purged.

The Kremlin is confident that, once Plahotniuc is out of the way, pro-Russian parties can more easily dominate Moldova. The pro-E.U. ACUM bloc won only 26.84 percent of the vote in the February elections and rules at the pleasure of the pro-Russian Socialists, who won 31.15 percent of the vote. With the Democrats out of the way, the Socialists’ share could go higher.

Russia may also rely on other parties to mobilize the “pro-Moldova” vote of people who want to bolster the country’s independence from either Russia or Europe. In the last election, the Democrats won many of these middle ground voters, who are now up for grabs. In the next election, the Kremlin may rely on Renato Usatîi, a pro-Moldovan populist with ties to the Kremlin, to campaign for this vote and bolster a future Russia-friendly government — and who returned to Moldova from a self-imposed exile in Russia on June 16.

Under a proposed new law, Dodon also will gain control over Moldova’s defense and intelligence services.

For now, the pro-E.U. parties will rule in partnership with the pro-Russian Socialists. But despite this fragile alliance of convenience, the competition between Russia and the E.U. for power over this small country remains as fierce and dynamic as ever.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/ 

 Urmărește știrile Timpul.md pe Telegram
blog comments powered by Disqus

Din aceeaşi secţiune

Cele mai noi ştiri de azi

News 16 August 2019, at: 08:55

 Move by pro-EU Prime Minister to turn August 23 into a day of remembrance for victims of totalitarianism may trigger an ideological fight with her pro-Russian coalition partners – who celebrate the victory in 1944 of the Soviet Red Army on that day.

( ) Read all

News 15 August 2019, at: 18:43

The Washington Times Kremlin rewriting World War II history

Kremlin rewriting World War II history

 Sept. 1 marks the 80th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland — an event that heralded the beginning of World War II. Two years later, the United States entered the war as an ally of both Great Britain and the Soviet Union. By that time, France and numerous other...

( ) Read all

News 9 August 2019, at: 18:38

 Protesters in Moscow have been charged with violating three articles of Russia’s criminal code. Stanislav Andreychuk and Denis Shadrin, experts from Golos, consider the most outrageous examples.

( ) Read all

News 8 August 2019, at: 20:54

 The Lithuanian language is one of the oldest languages in the world.

( ) Read all

News 6 August 2019, at: 07:01

The wealthiest 500 people on Earth lost 2.1% of their collective net worth on Monday as U.S. stocks plunged in their biggest drop this year. 

( ) Read all

News 4 August 2019, at: 17:54

Foreign Policy The Longest Wars

 One of the most celebrated diplomats of his generation, Richard Holbrooke helped normalize U.S. relations with China; served as U.S. ambassador to a newly reunified Germany and then to the United Nations; and, most famously, negotiated the 1995 Dayton peace agreement that ended the war in...

( ) Read all

News 3 August 2019, at: 08:02

Romania has a reputation as one of the most pro-EU and pro-US countries in Europe.

( ) Read all

News 3 August 2019, at: 08:01

Turkey has jailed another of the seven teachers controversially deported from Moldova last year – handing down a stiff prison sentence of 12 years.

( ) Read all

News 30 July 2019, ora: 09:15

Dodon Ally Becomes Moldova’s New Anti-Graft Chief

Dodon Ally Becomes Moldova’s New Anti-Graft Chief

The appointment of Ruslan Flocea as new head of the National Anti-corruption Centre, CNA, sees another former adviser to the Pro-Russian President taking a top job in the Moldovan state.

( ) Read all

News 29 July 2019, ora: 08:24

Exclusive: Russia wants short-term gas deal with Ukraine before bypass routes complete (reuters)

Exclusive: Russia wants short-term gas deal with Ukraine before bypass routes complete (reuters)

Russia wants to strike a short-term deal with Kiev on gas transit to Europe when the current 10-year agreement expires in order to buy time to complete pipelines that will bypass Ukraine, four sources familiar with Russian thinking said.

( ) Read all

News 27 July 2019, ora: 09:30

Naftogaz CEO hopes to strike deal with Moldova on use of Ukrainian GTS, USFs

Naftogaz CEO hopes to strike deal with Moldova on use of Ukrainian GTS, USFs

Kobolyev noted that cooperation with Moldova will ensure an additional load on Ukrainian storage facilities and gas transmission systems.

( ) Read all

News 26 July 2019, ora: 10:25

Russia says it will ban think tank formerly run by U.S. ambassador

Russia says it will ban think tank formerly run by U.S. ambassador

Russia said on Thursday it was preparing to ban the Atlantic Council, a think tank formerly run by the U.S. ambassador to Moscow, which Russia's prosecutor general described as a security threat.

( ) Read all

News 26 July 2019, at: 09:33

Moldova, A Wine Experience Out Of The Ordinary

Moldova, A Wine Experience Out Of The Ordinary

Looking for a combined wine and gastronomy vacation? Looking for something adventurous and a bit off the beaten track? Try Moldova. This is probably not the first country that pops up in your mind. Some people may not even know it as a wine country. But it definitely is one. And an old one at that.

( ) Read all

News 25 July 2019, ora: 10:32

Moscow’s Man Eyes Second Term as Moldova’s President

Moscow’s Man Eyes Second Term as Moldova’s President

As he seeks re-election in 2020, Igor Dodon has made no secret of his close ties to the Kremlin – but critics cay his assiduous courtship of Russia has not brought Moldova any obvious benefits.

( ) Read all

News 23 July 2019, ora: 15:37

The EU resumes budget support assistance to the Republic of Moldova

The EU resumes budget support assistance to the Republic of Moldova

The Commission has resumed budget support assistance to the Republic of Moldova by disbursing €14.54 million today to support the implementation of the EU-Moldova free trade agreement, to finance vocational education trainings and to assist the implementation of the visa liberalisation...

( ) Read all

News 21 July 2019, ora: 22:16

Forbes Russia's Secret Intelligence Agency Hacked: 'Largest Data Breach In Its History'

Russia's Secret Intelligence Agency Hacked: 'Largest Data Breach In Its History'

 Red faces in Moscow this weekend, with the news that hackers have successfully targeted FSB—Russia's Federal Security Service. The hackers managed to steal 7.5 terabytes of data from a major contractor, exposing secret FSB projects to de-anonymize Tor browsing, scrape social media,...

( ) Read all

News 20 July 2019, ora: 09:52

Ukraine's Constitutional Court Upholds Law Equating Communism To Nazism

Ukraine's Constitutional Court Upholds Law Equating Communism To Nazism

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has upheld a law that equates communism to Nazism and bans the dissemination of its symbols, a law that has prompted angry protests from Moscow.

( ) Read all

News 19 July 2019, ora: 17:38

Turkish Court Jails Professor Deported from Moldova

Turkish Court Jails Professor Deported from Moldova

One of the seven Turkish teachers controversially deported from Moldova to Turkey has been jailed for seven-and-a-half years for terrorism-related offences.

( ) Read all

News 16 July 2019, ora: 18:06

Merkel Urges Moldova To Speed Up Reform Pace

Merkel Urges Moldova To Speed Up Reform Pace

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged Moldova's new pro-European government to continue on the path of reforms and step up the fight against widespread corruption, saying Berlin would offer Chisinau its support.

( ) Read all

News 14 July 2019, at: 08:46

Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale congratulated Moldova's new prime minister, Maia Sandu, and expressed U.S. support for her government during a July 13 meeting in the Moldovan capital.

( ) Read all

News 11 July 2019, at: 18:24

 Transnistria cannot remain a kind of a “sovereign entity” over which the great powers politely agree to disagree.

( ) Read all

News 11 July 2019, at: 13:07

ITALY's Matteo Salvini was hit by protests in the Italian Parliament as officials savaged the deputy Prime Minister following allegations of a secret oil deal with Russia.

( ) Read all

News 8 July 2019, at: 18:39

The first batch of oil from the USA arrived at the port of the Ukrainian city of Odesa. According to the press service of the port, 75 thousand tons of Bakken grade oil was purchased by PJSC Ukrtatnafta and will be processed at the Kremenchuk oil refinery.

( ) Read all

News 8 July 2019, at: 18:06

Moldovan Prime Minister Maia Sandu will make an official visit to Ukraine on July 11.

( ) Read all
Current tier / breakpoint: xs sm md lg xl (= visible only on this breakpoint)

.hidden-xs-down .hidden-sm-down .hidden-md-down .hidden-lg-down

.hidden-xs-up .hidden-sm-up .hidden-md-up .hidden-lg-up .hidden-xl

.hidden-xs (only) .hidden-sm (only) .hidden-md (only) .hidden-lg (only) .hidden-xl (only)