Moldova: faced with another Transnistria?

The semi-autonomous Moldovan region of Gagauzia is consolidating its ties with Russia. It will join the Russian payment system Mir, and Moscow has authorised the import of Gagauz agricultural exports and promised cheaper gas deliveries, according to the region’s governor Yevgenia Guțul, who belongs to the pro-Russian Șor party. Commentators debate whether Moldova is now at risk of losing control of a second region after Transnistria.

Deutsche Welle (RO) /

Chișinău also to blame

The situation is serious, writes Deutsche Welle’s Romanian service:

“In an election year like this, Russian-fuelled Gagauz separatism poses a real threat to the Republic of Moldova. ... Gagauzia’s partial autonomy gives Moscow the opportunity to play the ‘democratic card’ by inciting separatism and blocking the central authorities in Chișinău. ... For example, the Șor party organised protests when President Maia Sandu last visited the region. These ‘shock troops’ could be mobilised again on command at any time. The Republic of Moldova has never bothered to truly integrate the region, instead allowing it to ‘stew in its own juice’. ... As a result, it has given Russia’s agents a free hand. The seeds of separatism are now beginning to bear fruit.”

Vitalie Ciobanu (MD) /

These dreams will be shattered by reality

Gagauzia does not have the means to realise the goals formulated by Governor Guţul, counters:

“A collaboration like this [between Gagauzia and Russia] would have to comply with the legal framework set by Chișinău, which currently severely restricts trade and economic exchange with Russian companies. ... The gas price would also be affected. Every gas delivery that goes to Gagauzia must be approved by Chișinău. Gagauzia may be striving for independence and trying to maintain economic and political ties with Russia, but the constitutional and political reality of the Republic of Moldova significantly limits the possibilities.”

Laurențiu Pleșca