Pro-European forces threaten Moldova to toe the line
Andrei Tudora and Tina Zamfir
24 February 2015
The Republic of Moldova is embroiled in a deep political crisis as a result of the imperialist drive eastward to encircle and destabilize Russia. The economy of the Eastern European country has been severely weakened by the economic sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation and by the free market reforms imposed by the outgoing administration of pro-EU Prime Minister Iurie Leanca.
Under the pressure of powerful international forces, old regional conflicts are once again coming to the fore. In the former Soviet Republic, the European Union is using the historical claim of Romania’s bourgeoisie upon its eastern neighbor to whip up anti-Russian chauvinism and further the imperialist agenda.
The three main pro-European parties have been unable to form a governing coalition, despite their claim to victory in the general elections held on November 30. The elections saw a decline in the pro-EU vote compared to the last elections, and the pro-Russian Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM) gained first place in the new parliament, even as the principal anti-EU formation, the Fatherland Party, was barred from participating three days before the elections.
Following the elections, the EU intensified its pressure on the leaders of the three parties to quickly support a stable government that would firmly bring the country into the EU’s sphere of influence and accelerate the economic measures required by the IMF.
However, coalition talks soon stalled as a rift developed between the leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party of Moldova (PLDM) and the Democratic Party (PDM) on one side, and the radical pro unionist (i.e. union with Romania) Liberal Party of Moldova on the other. After previously backing the PLDM in the election, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis cancelled a state visit to Moldova on January 22, when the division in the pro-EU camp became more evident and talks were already underway between the PLDM, PDM and the Party of Communists’ of the Republic of Moldova (PCRM)—the party that was ousted from power by a pro-EU sweep in 2009.
An EU delegation led by Elmar Brok, Chairman of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, held talks at the Chisinau airport on January 20 with the leaders of the pro-European parties, insisting on the formation of a coalition government to include all three parties. However, coalition talks failed, and on January 23, the PLDM and PDM announced the formation of “The Alliance for European Moldova.” They tasked outgoing Prime Minister Leanca, a favorite of the European chancelleries, with forming and passing the new cabinet.
A last-ditch effort to bring the Liberals into the Government was made on February 2 by Angela Merkel, who sent Christoph Heusgen, German Federal Chancellor’s Advisor on Foreign and Security Policy, to hold confidential talks with political leaders in Chisinau.
Although PLDM leader Vlad Filat told the press that there was full agreement after the talks, the liberals were not invited to participate in the government. After receiving verbal support from the PCRM’s Vladimir Voronin, Leanca was unable to form a government. In the Parliamentary session held on February 12, the Leanca cabinet received only 42 votes out of the 51 needed, with only the parties of the Alliance for the European Moldova voting for it.
Six days later, the Alliance’s new candidate, Chiril Gaburici, a businessman from outside the political parties, passed a nearly identical list of ministers through Parliament, with the support of the Stalinist Communist Party, which had ditched even formal opposition to the Association Agreement with the EU.
The insistence of the democrats and liberal democrats to form a minority Government by excluding the more radical Liberal Party, in the context of an increasingly tense social atmosphere, opens the door to possible retaliations by the EU and unionist forces. The cabinet, with its reliance on the votes of the PCRM, has been accused of not having the necessary strength to push through the European agenda. European think tank and media “experts” are lamenting that the new cabinet represents a dangerous step backwards in confronting Russia and are rediscovering the endemic corruption of Moldovan politicians.
In an article for Carnegie Europe, journalist Judy Dempsey describes the Moldovan Parliament as shooting itself in the foot, and that “with a frozen conflict supported by Russia in the breakaway region of Transnistria, Moldova does not have the luxury of time to stall reforms.” In the same breath, she says that “the frustration of the EU” is shared by “Moldova’s civil society movements,” an ominous reference to the state-sponsored pro unionist goons of the “Action 2012” and “Youths of Moldova.”
Quoted by Radio Free Europe, Vladimir Socor, analyst for the right wing think tank Jamestown Foundation, sees the forming of the minority coalition and the purported weakness in the pro-EU camp as posing what he considers to be “two massive dangers” that pro-Russian forces will sweep coming local and potential snap parliamentary elections.
Romanian-language media is not mincing words when it comes to the way that European democracy should be handled in Moldova. In a typical opinion piece, Dan Nicu, in the online edition of the Romanian Adevarul, writes about the deal with the Communist Party: “We have to insist that we are dealing with a case of treason against national interest and the European cause in Moldova,” and threatens that “it would be a shame” if “the only alternative” is “protest movements and even violence.”
Writing for the Moldavian Timpul, Silviu Tanase warns that “a possible failure of the European road of the Republic of Moldova could generate popular revolts on the model of the Kiev Maidan,” and recalls that “Ianukovici was visited at home by protesters upset by the corrupt president who tried to destroy the advancement towards Europe,” going on to compare the current leaders of Moldova to Ceausescu and Gaddafi.
The impatience of European commentators with the political instability of the regime in Chisinau comes amid intensified attempts to destabilize Russia via Transnistria, the separatist Russian-backed region on the Eastern borders of Moldova. Transnistria has been severely weakened in the aftermath of the EU economic sanctions on Russia, with many factories forced to shut down production and reports of unpaid public servants.
The imperialist powers are speculating on a rift that has occurred between Moscow and the leadership in Tiraspol, with reports in January that, for the first time, the Kremlin denied request for financial assistance by Transnistria.
The new pro-EU authorities in Chisinau confront an increasingly tense social atmosphere, as the economic situation of the country worsens, compounded by the dramatic fall of the national currency. The Black Sea University Foundation (FUMN), a right-wing think tank with links to the EU and the Romanian state, expresses the anxiety of the imperialist plotters to developing popular resistance: “There exists today a formidable cocktail of accumulated and continuously accentuated vulnerabilities that can make of the Republic of Moldova an imploding state, with unleashed social tensions and can easily generate an ‘anti-Maidan’ in Chisinau.”
The threats made against the newly-formed coalition in Moldova are, in fact, directed against the Moldovan working class who would undoubtedly oppose the EU-dictated program of austerity and war. In this struggle, Moldovan workers must place no trust in political forces such as the Fatherland Party or Igor Dodon’s PSRM, which offer no genuine opposition to imperialism. Like their backers in the Kremlin, they will only seek an opportune time to make a deal with the imperialists.