Will Moldova be Made an Accomplice of the Ukrainian Conflict?

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Vladimir ROTAR
Western partners are actively forcing Moldova to the "front line" in the ongoing geopolitical confrontation
Unfortunately, after a month and a half of the bloody conflict in Ukraine, it should be recognized that it won't be over soon. Contrary to some forecasts, our eastern neighbor hasn't crumbled with the first blows, and is putting up a staunch resistance. The "Russian blitzkrieg" clearly failed, which is why it is possible to quickly resolve the conflict only diplomatically. However, the Western customers who ordered this clash definitely don't need any diplomacy. On the contrary, weapons from Washington and Brussels are flowing to Kyiv en masse – according to the Pentagon, these are non-stop supplies, with eight to ten flights per day and "near constant" flows of transport convoys on the ground. There are plans for such aid to be further ramped up, while European capitals are urged every day to share, inter alia, heavy weapons: tanks, armored vehicles, air defense systems, etc. Along with this, sanction packages follow one after another, even despite the mutual damage. Most European countries are already facing a record level of inflation in decades, tariffs and fuel costs are rising, there are disruptions in goods and products supply. Nevertheless, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, says that the war in Ukraine "must be won on the battlefield" and strongly urges to give Kyiv all the weapons it wants. This is a near surrealism - yet, the belligerent statements by Europe's chief diplomat quite organically fit into the general background. In other words, he admits without much hesitation that no negotiations are needed (so, Russia will never get them, no matter how hard it tries). This is logical – the West was seeking to turn Ukraine into a battlefield with Russia, and it has succeeded. I don't know how true the insiders are that Kyiv was forbidden to enter into any peace agreements with the Kremlin, but the fact is that representatives of the Ukrainian negotiating team have really changed their tactics, and now proceed from the formula "victory on the fronts first, and then a peace treaty on our terms." Therefore, we shouldn't expect that the conflict will gradually subside and move into a diplomatic phase. On the contrary, it will only scale up. Predictably, Washington is the major instigator who, together with Great Britain, corrupt vassal European bureaucracy and Eastern European satellites, primarily Poland, is prompting the EU's central powers towards a full-scale economic war with Russia, dismissing their apparent reluctance to destroy national economies by the subsequent crisis. However, every day the economic logic loses more and more to the political one, further reinforced by an emotional topic of war crimes, in which, of course, Russia is immediately declared guilty. The geopolitical confrontation may also intensify in military terms, primarily by fueling new spots in the post-Soviet space. Certainly, most suitable are those regions already featuring unresolved territorial conflicts with Russia's participation. Rumors have lately increased that Abkhazia may become a "second front" for Russia. So far, Tbilisi has officially rejected such plans, but words aren't worth much today. Moldova, with its Transdniestrian conflict, is also at risk. The attempt of our authorities to sit in the rear failed, and today we are also being actively pushed to the "front line". The ruling party managed to adopt various but clearly unfriendly decisions regarding Moscow, and the cherry on the cake was the ban of the St. George's ribbon and plans to limit the celebration of May 9. Now, it is obvious that this day will be rich in numerous vivid reports about how people are massively detained (or worse) for celebrating Victory Day using traditional symbols. This, probably, is not enough, as the authorities are about to refuse gas imports from Russia - perhaps, in early May. At least, the government is now making every effort to prepare us for this, evading any contacts with Gazprom. Apparently, such was the order from "the higher-ups". The Transdniestrian issue is also a source of concern. The official negotiation process is barely functioning, while the number of problems in relations between the two banks is only growing. Apparently, no one is going to solve them. In terms of security, the situation is tense and is further fueled by constant fakes from the Ukrainian side. For a month and a half, the latter has been seeking to portray the left bank as an imaginary threat. Ukrainian politicians, the military and the media managed to accuse Transdniestria of two planes entering  the Odessa region; "helicopter activity" from Tiraspol; putting local armed formations into high alert; a missile strike on the Vinnytsia airport; planned participation in the encirclement of Odessa; preparations for an attack on Ukraine; repairing the Tiraspol airfield to receive Russian aviation. Moreover, the Secretary of the NSDC of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, once called on Moldova to open a second front and "have it done" with Transdniestria. All these fakes were both denied by Tiraspol and refuted by the central authorities. However, more and more often we sound somewhat hesitant, making allowance that "everything can change rapidly." I do not understand why there is still no clear stance that the whole of Moldova, including Transdniestria (even if the ruling party is struggling to alienate the region from the rest of the country) firmly adheres to neutrality and is not willing to get involved in the conflict, and that any attack or provocation will be considered as an unfriendly act. However, neither the president, nor the prime minister, nor the speaker bothered to make such a statement. It seems that our development partners have already decided for us. And now the government is in a stand-by mode, waiting until our country is activated as another bargaining chip in geopolitical games, as part of the "cold", or, if necessary, "hot" scenario. Let me remind you that Ukraine, seemingly univocally supported by the whole West, has not yet been provided with any substantial non-military assistance, debts have not been written off or frozen. They gave up on it as a spent material. We all know that even if Russia strategically loses this war, it will not be much easier for Kyiv, given the enormous damage inflicted on the country's potential – demographic, economic, investment, military, etc. The point of that is the threats Moldova will face in case of strategically incorrect decisions that are now being taken by the authorities in alarming numbers. I understand that it's probably too late now to change anything. Our puppet government possesses neither subjectivity nor will, and the events of the last month and a half clearly showed this. Our neutral status was walked all over and forcibly put into an anti-Russian system with the rest of the border states. And despite the enormous risks, we agreed to this. Of course, there is still a feeble chance that at least someone from the top leadership of the country will at some point grow a conscience, pride or at least a sense of concern for the country (even Timofti once had them), but I wouldn't count on that much.