Moldova is at risk of becoming another security crisis of Europe with potential consequences far beyond its borders. Such an opinion was expressed by Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland, in an article published in The New York Times, Joinfo.ua reports.
“A former Soviet Republic sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova sits at the crossroads between Europe’s East and West. Since it declared independence in 1991, power has alternated between the Communist Party, which has traditionally sought stronger ties with Russia, and pro-European parties that have staunchly advocated membership in the European Union,” Jagland writes.
In 2009, the pro-Europeans came to power. They signed an association agreement to deepen political ties with Brussels and gradually integrate Moldova into the European market. Exports increased, the economy grew, and in exchange for a series of reforms, including improving the human rights situation, the Moldovan citizens received visa-free regime.
“Over the last six years little has been done to open up the country’s economy and its institutions. Corruption remains endemic and the state is still in the hands of oligarchs, while punishingly low incomes have propelled hundreds of thousands of Moldovans to go abroad in search of a better life,” emphasizes Secretary-General of the Council of Europe in his article.
In recent months there has been a serious deterioration in relations with Transnistria. Many fear that it may become the next Crimea.
“This anxiety that has been further fueled by appeals for Russian protection from some of the province’s civic groups,” Jagland writes.
The leaders of Transnistria complain that Moldova is conspiring with Ukraine and keeps them under economic blockade and have now ordered Transnistrian army reservists between 18 and 27 to mobilize.
“Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea was deeply destabilizing, but we must never forget that the crisis in Ukraine began with the people’s profound disillusionment with their political institutions,” he emphasizes.