Situation in Moldova: No ‘Maidan’ Will Happen

On Thursday, June 13, President of Moldova Igor Dodon had a meeting with Prime Minister Maia Sandu, Parliament Speaker Zinaida Greceanîi and Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Năstase, during which it was decided to organise a public march on June 16 in support of the new cabinet and parliamentary majority. Sandu appealed to the police with a request to ensure the safety of citizens who will come out on Sunday at a rally in support of the new government. The conflict between the Democratic Party of Moldova, headed by oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc, and the new coalition government is interesting in and of itself, because it is developing exclusively in a political framework. However, a popular uprising and associated threats of regime change, akin to Ukraine’s ‘Maidan’ Revolution, most likely will not happen in Moldova, writes Artyom Kureev, an expert at the Centre for Economic and Socio-Cultural Development Studies of the CIS and Central Europe.

Some believe that Moldovan voters are tired of constant political struggle and will not take to the streets, but this is not true. The cost of one day of participation in protests in Chisinau is very low. However, it is obvious that both Dodon and Plahotniuc didn’t get permission from their patrons to bring people to the streets and threatened with consequences if the events of 2016 were repeated.

The US does not need an unstable Moldova with street protests alongside unstable Ukraine and, especially, Odessa, where pro-Russian sentiments are strong enough. Russia hopes that Dodon, given the support of a loyal government, will pursue a more pro-Russia policy. However, his government is more likely to benefit the Western partners of Moldova. An unstable government, not quite legitimate from the point of view of the local constitutional court, was created “out of despair” by two rival parties, and cannot be efficient. Dodon is unable to control it.

In addition, the pro-Russian rhetoric of Dodon is not supported, and cannot be supported (he simply does not have all the power) by real actions. Even if we assume that the President of Moldova is a true friend of Russia, he will not be able to do anything with such a government. At the head of the cabinet is a pro-Western prime minister.

A 'Pro-Russian' President in Moldova: Who's Next?
Nicu Popescu
Igor Dodon's victory is explained almost entirely by domestic factors. After seven years of the pro-European forces' rule, the political pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. The political system of Moldova is unconsolidated, but it is still a democracy, people become disappointed in all the rulers and vote for the opposition.
Expert Opinions

It’s most likely that the situation will end with negotiations between the existing parties, certain guarantees and the preservation of the influence of Plahotniuc, and in a worst case scenario, the re-election of parliament, and as a result, a protracted political crisis under the strict control of Western advisers. No one needs the latter, so the EU and the US have already come out in support of the new government. If Plahotniuc does not have an opportunity to negotiate with Brussels and the White House, the PDM will be forced to leave. The crisis is not beneficial to anyone. The Kremlin, for its part, hopes for at least a slight thaw in relations with Chisinau, but the West needs stability.
The Current Status of Russia-Moldova Relations
Sergei Lavrenov
President Dodon’s official visit to Moscow was an attempt to start a new chapter in Russia-Moldova relations. Several years after Moldova’s accession to the free (and comprehensive) trade area with the EU showed that Moldova has no alternative to the CIS market in the foreseeable future. The EU doesn’t need agricultural products (fresh or processed), which is the mainstay of Moldovan exports, in quantities comparable to those that were exported to Russia and the CIS countries.
Expert Opinions
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