PENNSYLVANIA, U.S. - Former U.S. Republican Rep. Bill Shuster published a commentary in The Washington Times warning citizens how he believes Moldova may be leaning back towards readopting neighboring country’s Russia’s political system.
Shuster’s commentary details the history of how Moldova’s political leaders have been looking to develop “a more robust economic and political relationship” with the U.S. and the European Union to develop more solid trading agreements for potential future transactions. Similarly, it was also reported that Moldova Prime Minister Maia Sandu wishes for a more democratic government in her country.
“Russia’s ever-increasing aggressiveness with its neighbors and the West’s occasional ambivalence about that interventionism have made life difficult for the countries caught in the crossfire,” Shuster, a former member of the House Armed Services Committee, wrote.
However, not everyone shares the opinions of a more Western-influenced Moldova government.
Shuster highlights several factors as to why Moldova may be turning back despite all attempts to move forward with new policies. Moldova President Igor Dodon has publicly announced his support of Russia and has been usurping some of Sandu’s power in order to push for a transition from a parliamentary system of government into a presidential republic.
“It should be no surprise that it was reported that three days after Mr. Dodon was sworn in as president, the flag of the European Union that was hanging next to the Moldovan flag was removed from the presidential administration building,” Shuster wrote. “Mr. Dodon has taken this further and has sought to blame the European Union for his decision to move closer to Russia.”
It was stated that First Deputy of Parliament Vladimir Plahotniuc, one of the supporters of the trading relationship mentioned earlier, fled Moldova after he received death threats and criminal investigations from Moscow, Russia.
Russia President Vladimir Putin’s support Dodon’s vision of a more Russia-controlled Moldova also plays a factor in the possible political reversion.
Shuster is calling for the U.S. and European governments to keep a close eye on Moldova as this process continues.
“Western governments need to pay attention and realize that the words, deeds and policies coming from a Moldovan president who is only growing in power are tangible warnings of a shift toward Russia by Moldova,” Shuster wrote. “It is another nominally independent government that could fall into Moscow’s hands.”