ASSESSMENTS

Will Moldova Be the First To Fall in Russia’s Energy War on Europe?

MIN READNov 25, 2022 | 10:00 GMT

Power lines are seen on the outskirts of Balti, the second-largest city in Moldova, on Nov. 2, 2022.

Power lines are seen on the outskirts of Balti, the second-largest city in Moldova, on Nov. 2, 2022.

(DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP via Getty Images)

While Moldova’s economic and political situation will remain fragile in the coming months, a deterioration of living conditions sufficient to change Chisinau’s pro-Western course or oust the government remains unlikely, in part because of growing support from the West. In a speech before Romania’s parliament on Nov. 1, Moldovan President Maia Sandu pledged to maintain her country’s pro-Western course and support of Ukraine despite what she called unprecedented Russian energy and political “blackmail.” Sandu said she wanted “everyone to know that Moldova chooses to be free and continue on its European path no matter the circumstances” and that “we are willing to pay the price of our freedom.” But Moldova’s commitment to that course will remain under strain for the foreseeable future, given the immense scale of the challenges facing the country. Year-on-year inflation is nearly 35%, and Sandu acknowledged that Moldovans are now often spending as much as 75%...

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