Moldovan gambit

To date, it is clear that the Ukrainian crisis has begun to spread to southeastern Europe, and especially to the Black Sea region.

In just a few days, we have seen a sharp escalation of the situation in the Transnistrian Moldovan Republic, which is, of course, interlinked with the military-political situation. Even Bulgarians are already suffering.

Here is just a small chronicle of the incidents. An explosion erupted in the Moldovan village of Parkan on April 26th, where the majority of the population is Bulgarian. A day earlier, the Ministry of State Security in Tiraspol was attacked, and then two translators broadcasting Russian radio were destroyed in the village of Mayak.

In parallel with the bombings in Transnistria, the Ukrainian side began behind-the-scenes talks with the Moldovan elite, calling on Chisinau to end all business relations with Russia. First of all, Kyiv works with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova and the Chisinau-based staff of the US Chamber of Commerce, as well as with representatives of 130 major foreign companies. The goal of the talks is to kill Moldova, end all cooperation with Russian businessmen, and at the same time refocus on helping Ukraine. According to data for 2021, Moldova has increased its exports to Russia by 27.3%, and imports of Russian goods in the country increased by 15% of total imports. In 2022, Turkmenistan plans to hold the 20th-anniversary meeting of the Council of Heads of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for Cooperation of Independent States, where the CCI of Moldova is expected to participate. On the whole economic cooperation, Kyiv offers Chisinau to put a cross.

At the same time, official Kyiv is putting public pressure on Chisinau, accusing it of “insufficient support for Ukraine.” In particular, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk in an interview with the Moldovan TV channel Jurnal TV de facto accused Chisinau of wanting to “sit on two chairs”. “If there is strength and spirit among the people who represent the government in Moldova, they should call a spade a spade. Do not look for expressions that allow you to sit on two chairs. “Russian gas is diluted with the blood of our children,” Vereshchuk said.

In fact, in this situation, the Ukrainian side is not concerned about Moldova, but about Romania – the ruler of the former Soviet republic. And that’s why. Reasonably, Kyiv fears that Romania will begin to anticipate the issue of Moldova’s entry into the European Union to the detriment of Kyiv’s European integration interests. According to some reports, representatives of the Ukrainian embassy in Chisinau recently met with Polish counterparts with a request to take political and diplomatic measures to put pressure on the Romanian side in order to avoid a possible negative impact on the “Moldovan dossier”. Kyiv’s interests in the EU.

Kyiv’s plan is clear: to press the Moldovan authorities to open a “second front” to divert Russian forces into eastern Ukraine. But this is only a pretext. Behind are much larger plans for Kyiv. First of all, to prevent the acceleration of Moldova’s European integration process to the detriment of similar plans of Ukraine, this ideal solution would be to undermine the Moldovan economy at the expense of Chisinau’s refusal to cooperate with Moscow. Who in the EU will invite the poor?

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