Moldavia

Mapa antiguo de Europa Central

Tema

¿Qué representan la guerra en Ucrania y los conflictos recientes en el espacio post soviético?

Resumen

La reanudación de las hostilidades en Nagorno-Karabaj entre Armenia y Azerbaiyán y en la frontera de Kirguistán y Tayikistán, así como las tensiones continuas en los conflictos congelados de Transnistria (en Moldavia) y Osetia del Sur y Abjasia (en Georgia), han puesto de nuevo el foco sobre el espacio post soviético, planteando la cuestión de si la guerra en Ucrania es la causa de las hostilidades recientes y si podría tener un efecto dominó y crear más inestabilidad en la región.

La guerra en Ucrania no es la causa de las hostilidades, porque estas datan de mucho antes de aquella.…  Seguir leyendo »

Una vez más, la guerra de Rusia en Ucrania bifurcará a Europa. El este quedará separado del oeste, y probablemente la frontera entre ambos será una zona segura y militarizada durante el futuro previsible.

Por supuesto, no sabemos cuándo o cómo acabará la guerra. Pero, tras los últimos acontecimientos, parece seguro suponer que tanto Ucrania como Moldavia se convertirán en candidatos a ser parte de la Unión Europea, y miembros plenos al cabo de unos años. Los líderes de los tres mayores estados miembros de la UE (Francia, Alemania e Italia) y de Rumanía lo dejaron en claro al visitar Kiev la semana pasada.…  Seguir leyendo »

Moldavia se encuentra en un momento histórico y a la vez está en medio de la mayor crisis de seguridad de su región y de Europa. La decisión de presentar su solicitud de ingreso en la UE el pasado 3 de marzo confirma el deseo inequívoco de Moldavia de unirse firmemente al mundo libre.

La aspiración de los ciudadanos moldavos de unirse a la Unión Europea se ha fortalecido más de 30 años después de la independencia del país. No ha sido un camino fácil, pero hoy nos encontramos ante una decisión histórica: la de otorgar a la República de Moldavia el estatus de candidato al ingreso en la UE.…  Seguir leyendo »

After the great destruction of the second world war, there was a singular purpose behind the creation of what is now the European Union: lasting peace. The EU must renew its commitment to this mission in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And enlargement is the most effective instrument that it can use to foster peace and bring stability to fragile eastern Europe.

Article 49 of the founding treaty of the EU establishes that any European state which respects human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights, and which is committed to promoting them, may apply to become a member of the union.…  Seguir leyendo »

Teatro de Tiraspol (capital de Transnistria, Moldavia) y una señal que indica la dirección a Odessa (Ucrania). Foto: Marco Fieber

Tema

Los rasgos estratégicos y económicos de Moldavia determinan su relación con las potencias vecinas en un contexto de tensión en la región.

Resumen

Moldavia es un país de lengua de raíz latina pero con importante influencia rusa, en un terreno fluctuante entre las distintas potencias regionales. La situación de la región independentista de Transnistria condiciona la política, las instituciones y la economía del país, que se ha visto negativamente afectado por la inestabilidad institucional en las últimas décadas.

Esto ha afectado a sectores estratégicos como la energía o la banca. Moldavia tiene una fuerte dependencia energética con profundas consecuencias políticas, y el sector financiero se ve lastrado en su desarrollo por los problemas institucionales y la concentración de poder económico.…  Seguir leyendo »

Fotografía de archivo de una tienda de souvenirs en Chisináu, Moldavia. Reuters

1. No hubo una explosión en Transnistria, sino tres en 24 horas. Los sucesos incumben a dos antenas de repetición construidas durante los tiempos de la Unión Soviética, suficientemente potentes para captar las señales procedentes de la Rusia europea, y una sede del autoproclamado Ministerio del Interior de la autoproclamada región independiente de Moldavia. Esta última explosión fue provocada con un disparo de lanzagranadas.

Explosions reported in Tiraspol, Transnistria near the building of State Security committee "MGB" https://t.co/6d8O4mYaCM #Ukraine pic.twitter.com/uANBBIkDZi

— Liveuamap (@Liveuamap) April 25, 2022

2. Nadie pasa por alto la relación de los sucesos, el origen compartido y la sutileza de los objetivos escogidos.…  Seguir leyendo »

As the United States and Europe continue to scramble to help Ukraine defend its territory, preserve its democracy and save its economy, they should keep in mind that Ukraine is not the only country in the region suffering due to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression. Next door, the small country of Moldova is appealing to the West for urgent help and long-term partnership. If we turn away from Moldova, again, we will push it into Putin’s arms.

“The Russian military aggression in Ukraine is making every single person in Europe feel less secure and is having a negative impact on every single person in Europe”, Moldova’s foreign minister, Nicu Popescu, told me in an interview this week in Washington.…  Seguir leyendo »

En menos de siete días tres Estados europeos han presentado su solicitud de adhesión a la Unión Europea. Entre el lunes 28 de febrero y el viernes 4 de marzo, Bruselas recibió sendas peticiones por parte de Ucrania, de Georgia y de Moldavia. Tres exrepúblicas soviéticas que, según la concepción geopolítica putiniana, habrían puesto en peligro la seguridad de Rusia con su acercamiento paulatino a Bruselas y, lo que es aún peor, a la órbita de la OTAN.

Desde Kiev los motivos para solicitar su adhesión al club de los 27 son más que evidentes: la invasión rusa y el consiguiente conflicto bélico.…  Seguir leyendo »

Here we go again: Russia’s energy ‘diplomacy’ in Moldova

In October, Moldova came under the spotlight when Russia, its primary provider of gas, slashed supplies by a third and refused to extend the existing contract.

The crisis was resolved at the end of October when Russia and Moldova signed a new contract, in which Moscow has used Moldova’s gas dependence to extract geopolitical concessions, weaken the new pro-western Chisinau government and drive a wedge between the EU and Moldova.

A chronic failure to reform

Moldova became a classic case of state capture when political elites – including nominally pro-European political elites – engaged in massive rent-extraction.

Up until 2020, when pro-reform forces came to power, Moldovan politics offered rapid route to riches for both the nominally pro-European parties and the pro-Russian Socialist Party; each was responsible for playing up ethnic and geopolitical cleavages in the country to mobilize votes and shore up legitimacy.…  Seguir leyendo »

Members of a local electoral commission count ballots in the July 11 legislative elections at a polling station in Chisinau, Moldova. (Sergei Gapon/AFP/Getty Images)

Moldova held snap legislative elections July 11. After a months-long wrangle between Maia Sandu, the pro-Western president elected in November, and the pro-Russian majority in the legislature, new elections were called when the Parliament failed to name a new prime minister.

Sandu’s Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) won this election in a landslide, with 52.8 percent of the vote. The second-place party, the pro-Russian Socialists, took only 27 percent. During the campaign, parties focused on two issues: extensive domestic corruption and whether Moldova should more closely align with Russia or the West.

For voters, corruption ultimately proved the more salient political issue, producing a substantial shift in electoral preferences.…  Seguir leyendo »

Moldovan President Maia Sandu delivers a speech during her inauguration ceremony in Chisinau, Moldova, on Dec. 24. (Reuters)

Today, Moldova’s first female president, Maia Sandu, marks her first 100 days in office. Sandu campaigned on a pro-European integration platform and has steered Moldova in that direction, ending the country’s pro-Russian orientation under her predecessor, Igor Dodon.

Sandu also promised to tackle high-level corruption, and the European Union promised to support her efforts. Despite this success, Sandu’s tenure remains constrained at home by a parliament that appears opposed to any anti-corruption reform attempts. In addition, Russia’s strong grip within the region is likely to challenge Moldova’s rapprochement with the West.

Russia continues to compete for influence

Research shows how the European Union and Russia shape political institutions in the post-Soviet countries.…  Seguir leyendo »

An installation dedicated to doctors struggling with Covid-19 in Chisinau, Moldova, November 2020. Photograph: Valery Sharifulin/TASS

“I am happy to work on the frontline and to see the Canadian medical system function so well”, Alecu Mătrăgună wrote in a Facebook post, “but I am sad that I was vaccinated before my mother, who works in the medical system in Moldova”. Mătrăgună is a Moldovan sonographer living in Montreal. His mother is 61 and a paediatrician with more than 30 years’ service under her belt. Yet, he told me, she has no idea when the Covid-19 vaccine might become available for her and for more than 53,300 other healthcare staff in Europe’s poorest country.

I had a similar reaction to Mătrăgună’s about my family in Moldova when I saw a sign at my local London pharmacy as long ago as early December, announcing that the vaccine was on its way.…  Seguir leyendo »

Former Moldovan prime minister Maia Sandu arrives to vote in the runoff presidential election in Chisinau on Nov. 15. Sandu defeated President Igor Dodon in an election that many Moldovans considered a referendum on two divergent visions for the future of this small Eastern European nation. (Roveliu Buga/AP)

The Republic of Moldova, a tiny nation sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, held its second-round presidential elections on Nov. 15. The voters ousted the incumbent pro-Russian president, Igor Dodon, electing Maia Sandu, the pro-Western, Harvard-educated former prime minister.

Sandu will become the first female president of this former Soviet republic, population 3.5 million. What shaped her victory, and what does it mean? Here’s what you need to know.

Moldova has deep political divisions

Disagreements about three big issues have shaped Moldova’s politics in recent years — and corruption topped the list. Sandu organized an anti-corruption movement that opposed the oligarchic rule of Vladimir Plahotniuc, a businessman who completely captured the state until he was ousted in 2019 — following the joint political intervention by the United States, the European Union and Russia.…  Seguir leyendo »

Maia Sandu in Germany in July. Photo: Getty Images.

The lack of political will to carry out rule of law reforms is frequently the reason why reforms are not fully implemented. The case of Moldova proves that in societies where strong vested interests still persist, political savviness is equally as important as political will.

Old and new political power brokers in Moldova struck a fragile pact in June to oust Vladimir Plahotniuc. Plahotniuc had built a network of corruption and patronage with the help of the Democratic Party, which he treated as a personal vehicle and which allowed him and a small economic elite circle to enrich themselves off of government institutions and state-owned enterprises, to the detriment of Moldovan citizens and the health of their political process.…  Seguir leyendo »

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.…  Seguir leyendo »

Days before the hotly contested Ukrainian presidential election on March 31, incumbent Petro Poroshenko’s party faces credible allegations of voter bribery. It’s not hard to guess what will happen next. The oligarchic clique will steal the election, and in response, international observers will accuse local authorities of vote-rigging. But instead of addressing the symptoms of democratic backsliding, it’s time to treat the root cause: informal power.

Moldova offers a textbook example. Oil and banking tycoon Vladimir Plahotniuc bankrolls the country’s second-largest political force and has forged alliances with other parties to consolidate power. Although Plahotniuc exerts total control over parliament, law enforcement and the courts, he has no interest in running for office.…  Seguir leyendo »

A man walks to the polls on election day, 24 February, in Chisinau. Photo: Getty Images.

The outcome of Sunday’s election portends badly for Moldova’s prospects to resuscitate its democracy. The results likely herald a continuation of the current elite tandem that captured state institutions, stifled the independent media, encroached on civil society’s efforts to keep them accountable, and diverted international attention from the real problems that the country faces.

As they are consumed by ongoing domestic issues of their own, European governments and the EU may not have the necessary attention span for Moldova’s travails. But endorsement of, silence at or hesitance in the face of these election results would signal a tacit approval for more democratic backsliding.…  Seguir leyendo »

A woman walks past electoral campaign posters Friday in downtown Chisinau. (Dumitru Doru/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

On Sunday, Moldova will be holding parliamentary elections. Most observers will likely analyze this as a referendum on whether the Eastern European nation orients itself toward the West or toward Russia – and since the pro-Russian Socialists are likely to win power, will conclude that Russia has won its loyalty. But the election’s main effect will be to cement and legitimize oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc’s total control over the country’s political life.

Plahotniuc is leader of the Democratic Party of Moldova, the largest party in parliament, and one of the wealthiest businessmen in the country. He has risen to dominate Moldovan politics by maneuvering between Russia and the West, buying out rivals, changing electoral laws to benefit his party, using the state apparatus to manipulate the media and harass opponents and owning a good share of the news media.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Russian threat to European security

National elections are seven weeks away and Moldova is frankly at a crossroads. One path will take us backward, back into the bosom of a failing, corrupt Russia run by Vladimir Putin and his henchmen. Socialism has failed, politically, economically and socially; we cannot go back. The other path surges us forward — with Democratic government, transparency, free markets, jobs, economic growth and a seat at the global table that will benefit all Moldovans.

As I flew back from Washington earlier this month, I was encouraged by the ever-stronger ties between Moldova and the United States. It was my third trip this year, and I am tremendously proud of the progress in our partnership.…  Seguir leyendo »

Police block the Moldovan parliament building during anti-government protests in 2016. Photo: Getty Images.

Moldova has long struggled with corruption in its politics, but a series of events over the course of the summer indicate that democracy and the rule of law are coming under increased threat. Western partners should take these red flags seriously and re-evaluate how they engage with the Moldovan government.

Warning signs

Firstly, after the second round of local elections in the capital Chisinau, on 3 June, opposition candidate Andrei Nastase appeared to have won the office of mayor. But, following a series of lower-court rulings, the country’s Supreme Court of Justice rendered election results invalid on 25 June after late-evening deliberations behind closed doors.…  Seguir leyendo »