22 July 2021
Moscow sees Moldovan citizens favouring the pro-European candidate at the ballot box as a consequence of pressure from the West. Yet strangely, Moscow considers it completely organic that the current occupant of Chisinau’s presidential chair operates essentially as an agent of the Kremlin.
The recent presidential elections in Moldova have brought remarkable results. In both rounds, Maia Sandu, the former prime minister and leader of the pro-European Action and Solidarity Party, defeated incumbent pro-Russian President Igor Dodon, with a significant margin of 58-42 per cent in the second round.
The elections attracted a lot of attention in Europe, but even more so in Russia, which still considers Moldova to be part of its zone of ‘privileged interests’. Pro-government media tried to intervene in the campaign on behalf of one of the candidates (some Russian dailies have special versions for readers in Moldova), as did top Russian politicians – the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Director of the External Intelligence Service and even the Russian president himself.
Moldova is one of the three post-Soviet states that have signed an Association Agreement with the European Union (the others being Ukraine and Georgia). It is linguistically, culturally and historically close to Romania, a member state of the European Union and NATO.