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Tag: Moldova

Even before the pandemic, we have been living in isolation

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on both Moldova and the breakaway region of Transdniestria. Moldova remains on the so-called “red list” of countries due to its high number of COVID-19 cases. Transdniestrians, meanwhile, face even more severe restrictions. Since March 16th a state of emergency was declared in the para-state and its borders with Ukraine and Moldova have been closed.

COVID-19 harshly hit the population on the banks of the Dniester River – those from Moldova, on the right bank, and those from the breakaway region of Transdniestria, on the left bank. While the people of Transdniestria have been living in a symbolic isolation for the past number of decades, the measures imposed by the de-facto authorities there during the outbreak made the region even more isolated. However this has not stopped the people of the region from exploring alternative ways of connecting with the outside world and with each other.

September 7, 2020 - Marina Shupac

In Church we trust. The case of the Moldovan Orthodox Church

The relationship between religion and society differs in most post-Soviet states. While the Orthodox Church in Moldova clearly enjoys widespread popularity in the country, it has chosen to focus on promoting a “traditional agenda”, often associated with discrimination towards women and minorities.

The Ukrainian Church’s official independence last year raised issues regarding how religion impacts geopolitics in post-Soviet countries. Despite this, the country’s former president, Petro Poroshenko, was neither the first nor the last political leader to use religious sentiments as part of an electoral campaign. The current Moldovan President, Igor Dodon, did so during the country’s previous elections. While there are numerous studies analysing the role of the church in politics and social movements, this discussion investigates the church’s role regarding conflict mitigation or instigation. By examining situations prone to conflict, we can try to determine whether the Orthodox Church in Moldova (OCM) serves the purpose of uniting the people or fostering polarisation. Such an issue remain of great importance for a country where more than 90 per cent of the population declare themselves Orthodox.

September 7, 2020 - Anastasia Pociumban

A reality check for Moldova-EU relations

In understanding the impact of the Eastern Partnership in Moldova, it is worth examining what it has failed to deliver for the Moldovan state and society. In this regard, it is a cliché that the strategy “started as a transformative mechanism and ended as a stabilisation and differentiation package of norms and measures”. Moldova has not become more stable or predictable, more prosperous or functional – and definitely not a place where the majority of its citizens would prefer to get old.

By mid-2020, and one year after the fortuitous change of political power in Chișinău (after the politician/oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc fled the country in June 2019), the state of Moldovan-EU relations has continued to be plagued by the same structural institutional pathologies for at least the previous three to four years: systemic corruption, state capture, shady transactions, divisive political identity, beleaguered institutions, legal nihilism, endemic poverty, and the list goes on.

September 4, 2020 - Oktawian Milewski

Moldova: The consequences of failed Russian credit. What next?

The story of Russia’s credit to Moldova has ended before it even started. After more than seven hours of hearings conducted on May 7th, the Constitutional Court decided to cancel the approval of 200 million euros of Russian loans. The court sided with the opionion of the Moldovan opposition and declared the credit agreement unconstitutional.

May 15, 2020 - Denis Cenusa

Talk Eastern Europe 36: Complicated neighbours. Romania-Moldova relations in the spotlight

Developments in relations between Romania and Moldova have raised a lot eyebrows lately. After Moldova’s pro-European government has fallen to be replaced by a Kremlin-friendly one; along with an already pro-Russia president the question remains as to what role Romania plays in all this.

May 9, 2020 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Moldova: A Russian credit or a Russian roulette?

The decision of the Constitutional Court of Moldova on whether to accept a Russian loan offer could have long term implications for the country.

May 5, 2020 - Denis Cenusa

Moldova (re)balancing its foreign policy

For the time being, Machiavellian principles dominate Moldova’s foreign policy. With pressure from the European Union targeting the rule of law and the need to find material benefits, the current Moldovan ruling elite is heading to the widest doors.

Since the first days of independence in 1991, the political class in Moldova has chosen to tie the country’s foreign policy to a bifurcated East-West orientation. This is reflected in the state’s governance as leaders constantly search for quick fixes from the outside. Thus, this geopolitical oscillation has become a modern Moldovan political tradition with the foreign policy dichotomy as a sort of "trademark" used to quickly interpret, not always accurately, public perceptions or the conduct of the political parties by observers both at home and abroad.

April 6, 2020 - Denis Cenusa

Moldova. A captured state that remains captured

Despite a brief moment of hope at the end of last year, Moldova continues to experience a period of instability which goes back to 2014. The institutions remain weak and are influenced by the politicians. Their autonomy is on paper only, justice is highly politicised and the economy is in poor shape. Unfortunately the outlook remains grim.

The Republic of Moldova has had its fair share of turmoil over the last several years. After a few years of positive developments on the path towards European integration, the trend reversed in 2014 when three of the country’s biggest banks had been robbed of about one billion dollars, or about one-eighth of the country’s GDP. In a matter of just one month, both the public outrage and the fall of the local currency that followed wiped out the five years of effort that culminated with the association of the Republic of Moldova with the European Union, the signing of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU and the adoption of a visa-free regime for travel to the EU. Moldova’s political life has stood under the sign of the events of 2014 ever since.

April 6, 2020 - Dan Nicu

The West Berlins of our time

An interview with Brian Whitmore, a senior fellow and director of the Russia Program at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). Interviewer: Adam Reichardt

ADAM REICHARDT: I would like to start with a question on one of the main topics we are covering in this issue – which is the movement of some in the West, like French President Emmanuel Macron, and others, who are calling for more dialogue with Russia. Foreign Affairs recently published a piece by Thomas Graham titled “Let Russia be Russia”, where the author writes that the West “should give up any ambitions of expanding NATO farther into the former Soviet space.” What is your take on this? Why are so many voices calling for better relations with Russia despite the fact that Russia has made zero concessions or offered any compromises after its aggression in Ukraine or interference and disinformation campaigns in the West?

BRIAN WHITMORE: There are two ways to look at this. First is the cynical view, that Russia is using its financial network of influence in Europe and the West to push these messages. The other interpretation is that there is a certain level of naiveté in the West when it comes to Russia, and especially Vladimir Putin. Whatever the case, we have to ask ourselves some serious questions here. When we have voices saying, “We should have a dialogue with Russia” – the question is, dialogue about what?

January 28, 2020 - Adam Reichardt Brian Whitmore

Moldova. A “blitzkrieg” against the rule-of-law aspiring government

Slightly disregarded during the last five months, geopolitics has returned to the centre stage in Moldova after the Socialist-ACUM parliamentary coalition collapsed mid-November.

November 27, 2019 - Denis Cenusa

The downfall of a captured state

In June this year Moldova ended its one-party rule and political deadlock when a pragmatic coalition of pro-democratic and pro-Russian forces took power. This coalition now faces a series of challenges, which puts justice reform and anti-corruption as the top priorities. Realistically speaking, however, to deliver any substantial outcomes the government is going to need time, support and stability.

Moldova has produced an unexpected, though much welcomed, democratic recovery after it disembarked from the oligarchic-centred political system in June 2019. The unequivocal recognition by the major powers – the European Union, the United States and Russia – was certainly instrumental in helping Moldova overcome its political deadlock. The Socialist Party and the ACUM bloc of pro-democratic forces have, for now, put aside their geopolitical differences and agreed to govern together.

November 13, 2019 - Denis Cenusa

Talk Eastern Europe Episode 19: Strange Bedfellows in Moldova

This episode of the podcast gives a rundown of the current changes taking place in Moldova.

September 18, 2019 - Adam Reichardt

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