Opinion: Moldovan crisis a test case for Russia-US cooperation

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Opinion: Moldovan crisis a test case for Russia-US cooperation

Deutsche Welle

Opinion: Moldovan crisis a test case for Russia-US cooperation
Opinion: Moldovan crisis a test case for Russia-US cooperation. picture-alliance/dpa/R. Buga
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Russia is back in big political business. For the first time since the annexation of the Crimean peninsula and the war in eastern Ukraine, Moscow has agreed with the EU and the US on a common course to free a small country, the Republic of Moldova, from the stranglehold of an oligarch who has become too powerful. In their sights is Vlad Plahotniuc, the richest man in Moldova, and a political heavyweight who controls the economy and legal system with his so-called Democratic Party.

For many years Plahotniuc was able to fool people into believing his party was on a pro-European course, while concurrently doing dirty business with Moscow. All that worked until the European Union turned off the money tap and made further payments dependent on reforms — and until Russia saw through the oligarch’s double-crossing. And apparently also until Washington realized that it had bet on the wrong horse.

Pressure from the EU, US and Russia

A few days before the deal was struck that kept him out of power, high-ranking emissaries from the EU, the US and Russia had met in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, in order to persuade two completely opposite political camps to cooperate.

The pro-European alliance ACUM and the pro-Russian socialists of President Igor Dodon then actually managed to set up a coalition government at the last minute and thus herald the end of the Plahotniuc era.

The fact that Plahotniuc, with the help of the Constitutional Court he controls, does not recognize the new government and even had the president, a former ally, removed from office is nothing more than political cosmetics. A short rebellion to impress his electorate, nothing more.

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