Moldova makes no secret of EU ambitionReading Time: < 1 minutes
Moldovan President Maia Sandu said in no uncertain terms that her country will pursue EU accession ahead of today’s Eastern Partnership summit. “We will insist that it is our choice and we would like other countries to respect that choice,” Sandu told Reuters. Moscow is fully aware of this situation, added the pro-Western politician, who gained power in 2020 then consolidated it in the Moldovan Parliament this summer.
Since winning independence in 1991 amid the breakup of the Soviet Union, Moldova has been subjected to a tug of war between Russian and Western spheres of influence. Chisinau has recently been reluctant to anger Moscow due to its dependency on natural gas from Russia, which has used this as leverage. While Sandu says a new five-year gas contract from Gazprom is reasonable, she rejects the Russian state energy company’s claim that it owes over USD 700m for deliveries in the 1990s.
The EU’s Eastern Partnership, comprising Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus, has helped mobilise pro-reform movements in these post Soviet states, and also provided financial assistance and market access.