The pro-EU prime minister of Moldova resigned after 18 months of political and economic unrest, and the country’s government has fallen.
The outgoing PM, Natalia Gavrilita, stated on Friday that the poorest nation in Europe was dealing with “many problems.”
Due to the conflict in nearby Ukraine, Moldova has seen rising energy costs, inflation, a surge in refugees, and Russian aggressiveness.
Only a few hours had passed since Russian rockets crossed Moldovan airspace.
When Ms. Gavrilita announced her retirement on Friday, she stated that no one had anticipated her administration would have to deal with “such many crises generated by Russian aggression in Ukraine” when it was elected in 2021.
Due to the consequences of Russia’s invasion, Moldova, which borders Ukraine on 1,222 kilometers (759 miles), is perilously near to going to war.
In a news conference, Ms. Gavrilita stated, “I took over the government with an anti-corruption, pro-development, and pro-European mandate at a time when corruption schemes had grabbed all the institutions and the oligarchs felt untouchable.”
She remarked, alluding to the Kremlin, “We were immediately subjected to energy blackmail, and those who did this hoped that we would give in.”
Last year, a gas supply cutoff from Russia to Moldova, which depended only on Russian gas, triggered an energy crisis. As a result of the high cost of energy, there was popular anger and a sharp rise in inflation.
Ms. Gavrilita was recognized for her “enormous sacrifice and efforts to lead the country in a time of so many difficulties” by President Maia Sandu.
The president remarked, “Where others desired war and bankruptcy, we have stability, peace, and development.
As the next prime minister, she has already proposed Dorin Recean, a former defense adviser who is also pro-EU. Next Monday, the Moldovan parliament will vote to approve his nomination.
Country profile for Moldova
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Early on in the conflict in Ukraine, there were worries that it would spread to Moldova or that Russia may attack the country as well.
While for the time being this worry has subsided, pressure from Russia, which has attempted to undermine the former Soviet state and the EU’s influence, has intensified as Moldova gets closer to joining the European Union.
Volodymyr Zelensky, president of Ukraine, issued a stern warning on Thursday, claiming that Ukrainian intelligence indicated that Russia had a plot to “destroy” Moldova.
At a session with EU leaders in Brussels, he said, “These documents demonstrate who, when, and how Russia is planning to shatter the democracy of Moldova and take power.”
He said, “I promptly alerted Moldova to these dangers.
Later, it was reported by Moldovan intelligence services that they had also discovered “subversive actions” meant to “undermine the state of the Republic of Moldova, destabilize, and violate public order.”
Relatively 1,500 Russian soldiers are stationed in Transnistria, a breakaway region that runs along Moldova’s border with Ukraine and is controlled by pro-Russian separatists.
The West is attempting to turn Moldova against Russia, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, as it did with Ukraine, he alleged last week.
Profile of Transnistria
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When President Sandu’s pro-European Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) secured a resounding victory in the legislative vote in August 2021, Natalia Gavrilita was appointed prime minister.
From June to November of 2019, while Ms. Sandu was the prime minister, she served as finance minister.