The West is responsible for the problems facing countries in ex-Soviet space, according to a narrative published in Chișinău. In fact, ex-Soviet states are struggling with their Soviet legacy, and Russia is the one fueling their current problems.
NEWS: “You don’t have to be a genius to understand that all the crises in Eastern Europe were caused by the actions of Western states, in particular the United States, which causes regional instability in order to satisfy its own national interests”.
The author continues by referring to the situation in Belarus, also claiming that the migration crisis on the border between Belarus and Poland was caused by Western actions.
“It must be understood that the waves of migrations were originally caused by Western expansion to North Africa and the Middle East. Washington and its allies have destroyed the peaceful life in the region and have artificially created a humanitarian crisis”.
[…] “If our republic continues to follow the West and renounces the interests of its own people in favor of others’, then a similar crisis will follow”.
NARRATIVES: 1. The West is responsible for the problems of states in Eastern Europe (ex-Soviet space), which are confronted with territorial conflicts. 2. The pro-European path chosen by the citizens of the Republic of Moldova and promoted by the current government in Chișinău is unfavorable.
BACKGROUND: After the presidential election of November, 2020, and the parliamentary election of July, 2021, the power was assumed by representatives of the Action and Solidarity Party, a political faction that pursues the European integration of the Republic of Moldova.
The Republic of Moldova started the process of joining the European Union in the early 2000s, although there have been periods of regression and stagnation due to corrupt center-left governments who sought closer ties with Russia. Nevertheless, in 2014, Chișinău signed the Association Agreement with the European Union, which includes a free trade agreement as well, also securing a liberalization of the visa program for Moldovan citizens, becoming the first country in the Eastern Partnership to benefit from such a measure.
The European Union is the Republic of Moldova’s number one financial supporter, its latest 600-million-Euro assistance package having already been adopted for the 2021-2024 period.
Still, some political forces in Moldova, starting with the Party of Socialists, led by former president, Igor Dodon, but also part of the population, in particular the Russian-speaking minorities, have opted for a reorientation of Moldova’s foreign policy towards Russia. Such efforts are also promoted by media affiliated to the Kremlin or the Socialists.
Like all countries in the Eastern Partnership, the Republic of Moldova is also facing a territorial conflict, in the breakaway region of Transnistria, which has been supported and directly and indirectly funded by Moscow. Transnistria is home to large weapons and ammo caches dating from the Soviet era, which are guarded by Russian troops. Moscow has refused to honor its international commitments to withdraw its troops and equipment from the region, saying it will only do so once the conflict is settled.
PURPOSE: To blame the West for the economic and territorial problems facing the Republic of Moldova and to highjack the country’s European trajectory chosen by its citizens.
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: Just like most other states in the Eastern Partnership, the Republic of Moldova’s territorial issues appeared with the collapse of the former USSR, and were caused by the artificial mapping of borders in the Soviet period.
The separatist regime in Tiraspol wouldn’t have survived without the direct and indirect political and economic support of Moscow. The Kremlin is injecting large amounts of cash in the region. At the same time, the Transnistrian regime also survived because it didn’t have to pay its natural gas bill, including the input at the Cuciurgan electrical power plant. The compound in turn sells most of its electricity to Moldova.
Moscow has opposed the withdrawal of troops and ammo from the region, thus maintaining the status quo.
By contrast, Baltic states, who joined the EU in 2004, currently have higher living and security standards compared to other ex-Soviet countries, which over the last 30 years have been oscillating between East and West and have remained in Russia’s sphere of influence. Even though certain politicians and media outlets continue to praise Russia, most Moldovan citizens choose to relocate to Western countries, at the same time supporting the European integration of the Republic of Moldova.
GRAIN OF TRUTH: States in the Eastern Partnership are facing territorial, economic, social, demographic and other types of problems.