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Perspectivele influenţei Rusiei în Republica Moldova.The outlook for Russian influence in Moldova


Perspectivele influenţei Rusiei în Republica Moldova

11 October 2010

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Acum,când  alegerile parlamentare din Moldova se apropie în noiembrie,această  ţară mică, dar strategic semnificativă  care a aparținut  fostei Uniuni Sovietice a devenit un câmp de luptă între elementele cheie pro-rusești şi cele pro-occidentale şi susţinătorii lor din Moscova şi din  Occident.

 Dar adevarata intrebare – dincolo de alegeri – este dacă Rusia va putea să influenţeze tânăra generaţie, care nu se mai identifică  cu Moscova așa um se întâmpla cu  generaţia mai în vârstă. Aceste alegeri  vor servi ca un test important pentru menținerea Rusiei pe teritoriul Moldovei in viitor.

Moldova atrage atenţia puterilor din afara , datorită poziției sale strategice, între munţii Carpaţi şi Marea Neagră. Această regiune a fost în trecut un câmp de luptă între Rusia şi puterile din sud-estul Europei, care astăzi înseamnă România şi prin extensie,,în sens mai larg ,Uniunea Europeană .

România are legături profunde culturale şi tradiţionale cu Moldova și și-aşi-a îmbunătăţit relaţiile politice şi de securitate cu această țară, în timp ce Rusia are trupe staţionate pe teritoriul Republicii Moldova  în Transnistria separatistă . Germania privește Transnistria ca pe o problemă-cheie pentru negocierile în curs privind pachetul de securitate Uniunea Europeană-Rusia, care este un element cheie în discuțiile  din Comitetul Politic şi de SecuritateUE-Rusia.

 Germania a cerut Rusiei să îşi retragă trupele din Transnistria ca o condiţie prealabilă pentru acest format de securitate, şi într-un  sens mai larg privește răspunsul Rusiei ca un test pentru reușita noului  forum.

Source: KyivPost

The outlook for Russian influence in Moldova

With Moldova’s parliamentary elections approaching in November, the tiny but strategically significant former Soviet country has become a key battleground between pro-Russian and pro-Western elements and their respective backers in Moscow and the West.

Russia has maintained the upper hand in this struggle for influence by strengthening its own allies in the country and dividing the pro-European bloc. But the real question — beyond the elections — is whether Russia will be able to influence the younger generation, which does not identify itself nearly as much with Moscow as does the older generation. This will serve as an important test for Russia’s hold over Moldova in the future.

Moldova draws the attention of outside powers due to its strategic location between the Carpathian Mountains and the Black Sea. This region has historically been a battleground between Russia and powers in southeastern Europe, which today means Romania and by extension the wider European Union.

Romania has deep cultural and traditional links to Moldova and has enhanced its political and security relationship, while Russia has troops stationed in Moldova’s breakaway territory of Transdniestria. Germany has weighed in, isolating Transdniestria as a key issue for the ongoing negotiations on the European Union-Russia security pack, which is an element of the nascent EU-Russia Political and Security Committee. Germany called for Russia to remove its troops from Transdniestria as a prerequisite for this security format, and more broadly as a test for whether the new forum would succeed.

The larger geopolitical questions about Moldova’s future follow 18 months of internal political paralysis. A series of elections in 2009 failed to produce a large-enough majority (61 seats out of 100) in the parliament for either of the two major parties/blocs — the pro-Russian Communists and the four pro-European parties that make up the Alliance for European Integration — to name a president.

Because of this, Moldova has been without a true head of state throughout this 18-month stalemate. Since the Alliance for European Integration gained more seats in the elections than the Communists in absolute terms, the prime ministry was given to the head of the Alliance for European Integration, Vlad Filat, and the acting presidency was assumed by another pro-European, Mihai Ghimpu. But without the majority and its associated political legitimacy, the pro-European bloc has had a very weak mandate to rule the country.

With the political situation in Chisinau stalemated, the struggle for influence in the country is heating up. In just the past few months, Moldova’s pro-Western leadership has publicly called for Russia to remove its troops from Transdniestria, while Ghimpu made a controversial decree establishing June 28 as “Soviet Occupation Day” in the country (a move which has since been reversed by Moldova’s Constitutional Court).

For its part, Russia temporarily banned Moldovan wine and mineral water exports and enlisted its newly regained partner, Ukraine, to assist in pressuring Moldova. The pro-Western Moldovan leadership responded by further reaching out to Romania. The Alliance for European Integration then sponsored a referendum that called for the direct election of the president in order to break the deadlock in the parliament, but this referendum failed due to low voter turnout, undoubtedly influenced by Russian and Communist party calls to boycott the vote.
Following the failed referendum, Moscow has gone even further with its strategy to consolidate influence in Moldova by dividing the pro-European coalition and making sure it has sway with every major coalition player. It has helped Russia that this coalition is fractured to begin with, as several of the leaders, including Filat, are more concerned with advancing their own personal and party interests ahead of those of the coalition. Russia also signed a party with another coalition leader, Marian Lupu, a former Communist leader who switched sides to the European coalition for political gains but never got the desired results — thus essentially becoming a free agent willing to work for the highest bidder.

According to STRATFOR sources, Russia has asked former president and Communist leader Vladimir Voronin to throw his weight either behind Lupu or to build a coalition with Filat after the elections, which could deliver a fatal blow to the pro-European coalition. Either way, the loser in all of this will likely be the country’s acting and ardently pro-Western (specifically pro-Romanian) president, Ghimpu, whose popularity has been in decline.

But while Russia is setting the stage to resurge in Moldova, the truth is that on the ground, Russian influence never left. Though the Alliance for European Integration has governed the country for the past 18 months, it has been a weak interim government and has had relatively little success. The government’s primary backer, Romania, has not set up a grassroots movement capable of significantly boosting its position on the ground in Moldova. According to STRATFOR sources, the United States asked Romania to set up nongovernmental organizations, media outlets and investment funds in the country, but Romania has not been successful in its pursuits in large part because of an ongoing economic and political crisis within its own borders.

Germany, which as the most important player in the European Union ostensibly shares the aims of the pro-European coalition, had previously said Russia must remove its troops from Transdniestria in order for the prospective EU-Russian Political and Security Committee to proceed.

However, because of Berlin’s growing ties with Moscow in other fields, this is proving not to be the redline it had appeared to be. STRATFOR sources report that Germany’s representative on the issue, Patricia Flor, told Russia that if Moscow could get a resolution between Transdniestria and Moldova started then Germany would be more acquiescent to Russia’s renewed influence in the country. Germany also said that if Russia could get such a resolution started then the rest of the European Union would see it as a positive step in security assurances to Europe, strengthening the EU-Russian Political and Security Committee and potentially allowing Berlin to get more support from fellow EU member states on the Russian proposal for a new European Security Treaty. And the United States simply has not shown any direct interest in the country, distracted by its involvement in the Middle East.

That Russia will continue to be the dominant external power in Moldova is all but a given. But while Russia has deep ties with the older Moldovan generation who lived through the Soviet era, the important question is whether Russia can start to influence the new generation, which considers itself much more pro-Western or actually tied to Romanian identity (in terms of culture, rather than the Romanian state). This younger generation does not identify with the Soviet past. Concentrated though not exclusively based in the capital, this group is also tech-savvy, (as demonstrated by the “Twitter revolution” in Chisinau last year following elections).

Russia has tried to influence this younger population, as can be seen by Moscow expanding its ties with non-Communist parties, but this is an area where Russia has only recently begun its efforts. Ultimately, the degree to which Moscow will focus its resurgence on winning over this generation will determine its influence in Moldova well beyond the upcoming elections.

11/10/2010 - Posted by | PRESA INTERNATIONALA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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