Moldova protests against pro-West Maia Sandu: Russia and EU

Moldova protests against pro-West Maia Sandu: Russia and EU

Noriko Watanabe, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Protesters marched in the capital of Moldova on Sunday for the second time in successive weekends. Some pro-Western media sources claim the crowd was approximately 5,000. However, the figure seems higher than this.

People chanted for the resignation of President Maia Sandu and her government. Many people are divided in Moldova from the pro-European Union orientation to cordial relations with the Russian Federation. While the Romania question also hangs over Moldova.

Complexity of Moldova

In the Turkic ethnic areas of the Gagauz – this Turkic Orthodox Christian group favors the Russian Federation concerning economics and other angles. Deutsche Welle reports, “In a symbolic local referendum, 98.5 percent of the around 70,000 Gagauz who participated said no to better EU trade relations, instead favoring inclusion in Putin’s free trade union.”

Russian troops are also protecting the Transnistrian region – which orientates toward the Russian Federation. It is highly biased to believe that Abkhazians, South Ossetians, the indigenous Russians of the Donbass (Donbas) region, the Gagauz (economic angle and fear of losing autonomy), and others in the former Soviet Union didn’t look to “mother Russia” for protection. Also, ignoring the role of Georgian and Ukrainian nationalism aimed at minorities before they sought to unite with the Russian Federation – is completely failing minorities, who feared losing their cultural identity. Therefore, Ossetians are also fighting for “mother Russia” against Ukrainian nationalism.


Protests against the government of Maia Sandu (educated in America – a pattern seen in Bulgaria and Greece who have re-orientated from pro-Russian forces in history) are multi-faceted. This includes increasing energy costs, inflation, and ordinary bread and butter issues – related to G7 nations and the European Union implementing sanctions on the Russian Federation. Therefore, people are struggling to survive despite many commodities and energy being in abundance in the Russian Federation (China, India, and other nations are getting goods and energy at discounted prices).

Some protesters are more orientated to the Russian Federation outside of bread and butter issues because Moldova is little more than cheap labor for the European Union. Also, the legacy of history remains strong.

Despite the convulsions of poverty related to ongoing anti-Russian Federation sanctions – and the crisis in Ukraine and the Donbass (Donbas) region – Sandu is playing a dangerous game concerning her pro-Western orientation.

She said, “The illegal presence of Russian military troops in the Transnistrian region violates our neutrality and increases the security risks for our country.”

With inflation nearing 35 percent – and with the sanction policy being implemented by G7 and European Union nations – then blaming the Russian Federation for creating the spiral in prices is countering reality. Therefore, irrespective of people’s views on the conflict in Ukraine and the Donbass (Donbas) region, G7 and EU nations have made the economic situation worse for Moldovans.

Russia and Transnistria

Associated Press reports, “Russia has stationed peacekeepers there since the 1992 end of a three-month war that left Transnistria outside Moldovan control. Russian forces also guard a large ammunition dump in the region.”

Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Federation Foreign Minister, said, “Everyone should understand that any kind of actions that will raise a threat to the security of our servicemen will be considered in international law as an attack on the Russian Federation.” 

ABC News reports, “In June, European Union leaders agreed to grant Moldova candidate status in its bid to join the 27-nation bloc.”

The timing of the European Union is aimed at increasing tensions with the Russian Federation.

If inflation continues to remain high – and ordinary people feel abandoned in Moldova – then protests will grow in numbers. Thus the last thing Moldova needs is a complete re-orientation at a time when cordial relations are in the interest of this country.


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