Moldova risks facing the same consequences of the information campaign launched in the West about the “Russian invasion” as Ukraine
Semyon ALBU, RTA:
It’s been half a day since the most famous “Russian invasion” was supposed to begin. The British tabloids were recently comically accurate in scheduling it for 3 a.m. Or a day and a half, if rely on other media, such as Bloomberg. However, as expected, Ukraine hasn’t been attacked. However, let’s not think that this is all over – the new “invasion” dates are sure to appear to make Europe wait again with bated breath. Well, at least the first few times.
This entire information campaign launched by Western officials and media has actually taken the form of natural hysteria in recent weeks. The picture they created of a “pre-war Eastern Europe”, where Russian tanks and jets are literally starting engines to attack Ukraine, was supported by unprecedented moves: relocating embassies to the country’s west, evacuating diplomatic employees and their families, dozens of countries urging their citizens to promptly leave Ukraine. Almost every day the major Western newspapers and magazines were drawing attack maps carefully depicting arrows of “Russian strikes”, which, by the way, often pointed in the direction of our left bank. After all, as it was claimed, U.S. President Joseph Biden himself informed the key allies about an almost imminent attack on February 16.
We witness is a largely paradoxical and even surreal situation: the West is sounding the alarm about an imminent war, while Russia, a potential aggressor, keeps reiterating it has no intention to attack, and Ukraine, a potential victim, argues it doesn’t see any special military preparations on its borders.
Anyway, Ukraine is already a victim, even without an imaginary “invasion”. Choosing to play along with the West at a time when the “Russian aggression” plot was just at its outset, Kyiv made a disastrous mistake. The rationale, clear enough, was to call greater international attention, distract citizens from pressing socio-economic problems, try to get extra funding and support to “protect themselves” from Russia. However, the Ukrainian authorities seem to have simply failed to measure all the implications which now outweigh all possible and initially dubious benefits from the current escalation.
Judge for yourself: according to various estimates, Ukraine, already economically disadvantaged, loses billions of dollars monthly. The foreign capital outflow is alarmingly high, investor pool is reducing, the hike in prices for key energy resources due to the crisis threatens to destroy entire branches of Ukrainian production. Furthermore, the national currency is weakening which forces the Ukrainian National Bank to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to support its exchange rate. Foreign insurers’ actions almost caused an air blockade of Ukraine, which was averted only by the speedily allocated half a billion dollars.
The current crisis is exhausting Ukraine economically – the fact the neighboring authorities are now well aware of. They try to backpedal, but it’s too late: the chess game has begun, and the pawns cannot retreat. Kyiv is in a unique situation when it is unacceptable to openly accuse Western partners of replicating a fake threat, but at the same time it is necessary to somehow defuse tension to deflect the country from catastrophic damage. As a result, Zelensky’s “green team” has to perform the most complicated geopolitical maneuver - however, without much success so far.
Meanwhile, the escalation around Ukraine is taking on new heights, and the West, primarily Washington, continues to fuel the fire of potential war, doing a lot to unleash it: protracting talks on security guarantees, supplying weapons to Ukraine at a frantic pace, while constantly repeating that it’s not going to defend it. All this creates a conflict field when Moscow is almost invited
What true tactical goals Washington has is anyone’s guess, although some benefits are quite obvious. First, to shake up NATO allies to force them to increase military spending, which Donald Trump was trying to achieve, and to reinforce the bloc’s unity. Second, an excellent opportunity to build up military presence in the Eastern European region. Third, to exponentially enhance sanctions pressure on the geopolitical opponent. Fourth, to cut energy ties between Russia and Europe in order to make room for supplying its own gas the production and export of which is increasing by leaps and bounds. Fifth, to serve the interests of American transnational corporations benefitting from crisis.
The only thing that is hardly taken into account by American strategists is the interests of Ukraine itself, which in these conditions are purely secondary. All Kyiv can do now is to dig in its heels but still play the role originally prepared for it after the Euromaidan. The fate of desovereignized satellites is sad.
It is even more sad that our republic is moving along the same path. We have already implemented the first point of the program by handing over our country entirely to pro-Western forces. Now the ruling party is pursuing a single-vector, I would even say single-celled, foreign policy, similar to the Ukrainian one, in which Euro-Atlantic integration is declared a cornerstone. Meanwhile, we ourselves actively sever ties with Moscow – which, by the way, was willing to communicate even with Maia Sandu and PAS – and at the same time portray Russia as an aggressor country, as Ukraine does.
In general, the process of transforming Moldova into an obedient and usable pawn in geopolitical chess is in full swing, or perhaps over. It seems, our country, as Kiev, expects some bonuses from this, such as aid packages, blind eye turned to the ongoing democratic and legal mayhem and so on, while escaping the consequences. Will it work? Not a sure thing because today our country is also being dragged into the geopolitical hysteria. The State Department has already urged Americans to immediately leave Transdniestria and refrain from trips to Moldova. This prompted the Moldovan authorities to make a number of statements that Moldova is a “peaceful neutral country” and that it is not our concern at all. This has had no effect, and now Fox News is replicating a story
about Russia seizing Transdniestria and gaining “political control” of Moldova.
Let’s hope that this is a single story rather than a new stage in promoting information campaign about Russian aggression which can further excite interest and sound fresh via new goals and meanings. I would hate to see our already economically disadvantaged country reap the same benefits as Ukraine. However, this requires a lesson to be learnt by our authorities that being a geopolitical toy in the hands of the West is not just disadvantageous but extremely painful for the economy and risky for the country’s peaceful development.