Moldova’s situation is far from benign and it is nearly hanging by a thread. The Moldovan government had tried every trick in the book over the past two years to deteriorate its relations with Russia, but geopolitics had different plans for it. President Maia Sandu was close, but, got no cigar.
The Ukraine war has foiled her attempts to incite Moldovans’ animosity towards Russia. The country is in complete upheaval, and Maia and her cabinet had knocked on Brussels’ doors for assistance as a measure of last resort. However, an old dog cannot be taught new tricks. The EU insulted Moldovans once more, and thus, raised the possibility that the already-rising anti-EU sentiments in Moldova may intensify like never before. Tensions in Moldova are running high. The Moldovans are giving an angry stare at the government on the streets of Chisinau. People are getting impatient since the country is completely in the dark as a result of the power outage brought on by the Russian attacks in Ukraine.
As the situation continues to escalate, Moldova’s pro-EU government has again turned to the EU for help. According to a media report by POLITICO, Moldova’s Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilița has asked EU countries for €450 million in aid amid the “very real possibility” that Russia’s Gazprom will cut gas supplies this winter. The worst-case scenario, according to Gavrilița, is a complete disconnection. If this occurs, there would be a “trade-off between disconnections [of consumers] and blackouts, or whether… we can afford to pay this price,” Gavrilița told POLITICO in an interview.
Germany insults Moldova
Germany, however, responded to Gavritila in the most cheeky manner possible. Germany immediately declined to give Chisinau financial assistance following Moldova’s plea to Brussels. Instead, Berlin sent Moldova a gift that was neither requested nor required at all.
According to Euractiv, the ruling German coalition again pledged continued support for Moldova’s EU candidacy in a motion tabled in parliament. The German government stressed, under Sandu, the country has “turned on a brave and ambitious reform path” and taken up citizens’ demands for reform geared towards strengthening democracy and rule of law.
Gavriliţa had appealed to nations like Germany to draw its attention back to one of Europe’s poorest countries as the reported damages have crossed $1 Billion, but, Germany has clearly pushed Moldova back against the wall. Not only this, but Brussels has also turned down Moldova’s request. When requested, the EU promised to disburse only a $250 million financial package to help Moldova tackle the ongoing energy crisis.
Moldovans turns rogue
Moldova, a country of 2.5 million people sandwiched between Ukraine and Romania, is going through a severe energy crisis that has seen inflation soaring tenfold in a year. Last month, Russia’s gas agency Gazprom slashed deliveries to the country by 30 percent and threatened a total cutoff “at any time” citing a payment dispute in a move that critics labels as blackmail. Furthermore, due to a destroyed energy infrastructure, Ukraine no longer exports electricity to Moldova.
Moldova is compelled to purchase electricity from the European spot market at four times the original price, which is causing friction between the people of Moldova and the government. Till 2021, the relations between Moldova and Russia were merry, but, when Maia Sandu was elected as President of Moldova, things started to go downhill.
Since February 2022, the relations reached rock bottom when Moldova came out strongly against the invasion of Ukraine.
Sandu promised to eliminate corruption and improve the country’s economic situation. Sadly, she sacrificed Moldovans in her desire to secure NATO and the EU membership. As a result, Moldova, which was formerly one of the most pro-EU countries, has suddenly begun to hate the union. “Moldova is currently in clinical death, which the current authorities have brought it to,” claims the opposition of Moldova.
The general public holds the same view. Moldova is undoubtedly a failing society under Maia Sandu. The people have taken to the streets and are calling for the resignation of the government, and this anti-EU stance will ultimately help Moscow more.