The Russo-Ukrainian War has demonstrated how smaller nations should maintain sound geopolitical relations in the grand game of power politics among larger countries. Smaller nations shouldn’t get involved in a conflict involving the bigger fishes. In light of the intensifying struggles in the region between Russia and Ukraine, the neighbouring nations should not have intervened, especially when one of the parties is a major power like Russia. The case of Moldova is indicative of it.
Moldova’s pro-Western government resigned after a turbulent 18 months in power marked by economic turmoil and the spillover effects of Russia’s war in neighbouring Ukraine.
President Maia Sandu accepted Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita’s resignation and nominated 48-year-old presidential aide and former interior minister Dorin Recean to replace her.
Moldova faces soaring inflation and has struggled to cope with an influx of Ukrainian refugees. It has also suffered power cuts after Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy facilities and struggled to end its reliance on Russian gas.
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The steep price increases, particularly for Russian gas, led to street protests last year in which demonstrators called for the government and Sandu to resign.
To be clear, this was anticipated. A smaller nation like Moldova could never stand up against the might of Russia. Why do even intervene in a battle where you have no strategic advantage? Master Suz Tzu would have surely derided the Moldovan government.
Nonetheless, it seems like countries have still not learnt from the Moldovan experience.
Take, for example, Kazakhstan. The country has been plagued by a slew of challenges as a result of its confrontation with the Kremlin. As previously explained, President Tokayev, who was attempting to become a Western dove, is on the verge of losing his seat due to his desire to challenge Soviet supremacy.
Read More: France’s €100 Million bet in Moldova is another nail in Zelensky’s coffin
Kowtowing to its Western masters has not proven fruitful for Georgia either. Russia has banned flights to and imposed trade sanctions on Georgia. More punitive measures may follow. Since then the Georgian lari (GEL) has lost -4% in value against the USD (-8% since the start of the year). Russia’s move has reduced Georgian export growth though and may lead to a balance of payments crisis in the long term.
Norway’s pro-Western stance has also led to unrest in the nation. Norway’s skyrocketing oil and gas wealth is expected to climb to new heights this year, boosted by higher fossil fuel prices.
All in all, these nations should learn from Moldova and try to avoid getting being used as mere pawns by Western nations. In a bid to be in the good books of the West, the leaders of these nations might never again come to power.
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