Numerous internal and external challenges faced by Moldova will eventually require fresh and comprehensive solutions from the Republic’s foreign “patrons”
Despite a still high detection rate of infected people, quarantine measures in Moldova continue to be gradually eased, and it is already clear that the country will need more than one year to restore order after the “coronavirus chaos”.
As expected, due to the weak socio-economic backdrop of the state system, Moldovan society can barely tolerate protective measures introduced during the pandemic. It constantly defies them in every way, and puts massive pressure on the government, which is already severely criticized by the opposition seeking to achieve the far from honorable cabinet resignation. In general, there are more than enough grounds for removal. The total number of cases approaches 10 thousand. The indicator of infected doctors in Moldova is one of the worst in the world, which is signaling a stalemate in the healthcare system, functioning in a semi-paralyzed state.
The pandemic once again demonstrated the vulnerability of Moldova from a geopolitical point of view. During this period, Chisinau had a lot of trials, since the republic again became the arena of geopolitical and propaganda confrontation of external players. The humanitarian aid organized by Moscow and Beijing suddenly inflamed jealousy in Washington, Brussels and Bucharest, which with unprecedented zeal began to pay close attention and provide support to the fragile Moldovan democracy. It is just enough to mention the story of the Russian loan, when all social and political forces loyal to the West were immediately mobilized to block it.
The pandemic appeared to be a challenge for relations between Chisinau and Tiraspol. “Tested” regime of closing the Ukrainian segment of border with the left bank implemented by Chisinau with Kyiv’s support most likely led to the opposite effect and even more revealed the depth of contradictions between the two banks. An ill-conceived algorithm of actions in relation to the rebellious region, including administrative delays in drug supplies, provided a favorable resonant trigger for Tiraspol to accuse the Moldovan authorities of inhumane actions.
Also, the pandemic further highlighted the phenomenon that correlates both with the topic of the Transdniestrian settlement and with the internal political situation in Moldova. It is about mobilizing Moldovan Nistru-war veterans, who are apparently designed by some forces to become full participants of the country’s political life, possibly with an eye to the next parliamentary elections. Respectful attitude to veterans in some strata of Moldovan society, as well as width of political views among them – from centrist to nationalist and unionist, with proper political and technological support can lead to the fact that the “veteran factor” will be not only a driver of street pickets, but also part of the parliamentary life of the country.
The probability for the current hybrid parliament to last out its entire term is extremely low, and the elections based on the proportional system will most likely expose many new political projects that can significantly alter the political face of the future Moldovan legislature.
Meanwhile, after almost three decades of its independent path on the world stage, Moldova remains a territory with an undefined status, facing numerous threats both in the field of socio-economic development and in terms of security. As you know, neither the Moldovan-Ukrainian segment, nor the line of contact with Romania provide a clear understanding of the Moldovan borders status, as a result of which the country is in a state of permanent risk. Bucharest is traditionally inclined to consider its Bessarabian neighbor through the prism of the concept of the forcibly divided single Romanian people, which does not provide for equal interstate positions.
Kyiv also does not perceive modern Moldova as an integral state, enhancing the notorious Romanian factor with the problems of the pro-Russian enclave existing for almost 30 years on the left bank of the Nistru, non-controlled by the central authorities.
It is obvious that Moldova cannot endlessly be at the mercy of such a geopolitical uncertainty, acting more as an object, rather than a subject, of international politics. This is clearly recognized by all global stakeholders. Judging by the symptoms of the recent spurts of the political crisis in Moldova, Washington has its own vision of the future of this small unstable republic. If the assumptions are true, then the coming fall will show us large-scale processes associated with attempts to change the country’s political configuration by consolidating power of the pro-European forces, opposing the socialists-democrats alliance. These processes will not be limited to domestic politics, since there will be a need to define influential geopolitical factors. It has long been obvious to everyone that the three-decade-long process of Moldova’s sovereignty should be completed by installing it firmly on the world map as a conflict-free zone. The next “Big Package for Moldova” is just around the corner.
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