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Moldova, future European state?

The new reformist government of Moldova, elected in July 2020, announced on 14 December its firm intention to join the European Union. This position, marked by Maia Sandu, Moldova’s new president, does not please Russia.

On the eve of the Eastern Partnership summit with EU leaders and other Eastern European countries, Moldova has voiced its concern about Russia’s increase in gas prices following the elections that brought the pro-European reformist party to power. Moldova believes that Russia is reacting to its desire to join the European Union. Moldovan officials say they have informed Russian officials that the EU model is the most suitable for Moldova.

Maia Sandu also asked for EU support in tracking down criminals who have allegedly stolen money from Moldova and are at large in Europe. Nearly a billion dollars was purportedly stolen from Moldovan banks between 2014 and 2015, known as the « Theft of the Century ». Vladimir Plahotniuc is the main accused in this case. The former first deputy speaker of the Moldovan parliament and president of the Democratic Party fled his country to Romania, where he later disappeared in southern Europe.  

Since Moldova gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, pro-Russian and pro-EU politicians have been competing for power. Nevertheless, the new Moldovan government has for the first time stated a clear position on its future goal. « Moldova wants to become an EU member one day, » Sandu said, given Moldova’s dependence on Russian gas. « We would like to get there as soon as possible, » she said in an interview in a Brussels hotel.

Maia Sandu’s control of the Moldovan executive is the best chance in its history to join the European Union.


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