THE REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA AT A CROSSROADS. WEST OR EAST?
An Assessment of the Presidential Elections in the Republic of Moldova published by New Strategy Center – Romania and Centro Studi Internazionali – Italy
The election of Igor Dodon, the socialist candidate and promoter of closer ties with the Russian Federation, as president was predictable, considering the way in which the election campaign progressed. Nonetheless, it will not radically change the situation in the Republic of Moldova. The former Soviet State will neither have chances nor formal EU accession perspectives in the future and it will continue its “double game”, oscillating between East and West in a desperate search for funds and support for survival. From a geopolitical perspective, the West’s best behavior could be a wait strategy, maybe pushed to the limit of a doing nothing strategy. Since 2003, the strategic initiative belonged to the Euro-Atlantic space. Today, the initiative passed in Russia’s court through the election of a president taken from the campaign photo with Vladimir Putin. Now, Russia should be left alone to deal with the Republic of Moldova. Until today, it has done nothing else but trying to undermine the pro-European front in Chișinău, but now it could have in the president a powerful ally. Without the capability of raising funds for economic development, of promoting infrastructure investments and without the influence people talk about in the Republic of Moldova, Russia will be forced though to act. What will it do? What will it be able to do? In the best case scenario, maybe nothing. In the worst case scenario (forcing federalization), it will make a mistake. The hypothetical reactions caused by Russia’s too high pressures can rapidly change the power balance in Chișinău and in the region.