Though Moldova is small, with only 4 million people, its location — wedged today between the EU and Ukraine — has long given it geopolitical significance that transcends its size.
Both Russia and the West seek greater influence over Moldova’s political and economic direction, and Romania, a NATO member that has cool relations with Moscow, very much wants a functioning pro-Western nation on its eastern border for security reasons.
Moldova has an association agreement with the EU aimed at encouraging economic links, and which some people in Moldova hope could lead to eventual membership. Russia opposes Moldova joining the EU.
Pro-European parties came to power in 2009 and won again in 2014, but squandered their chance to improve the lives of people as the country grappled with the fallout from the bank scandal and other cases of corruption. The average monthly salary is just $240 (220 euros).
The people of Moldova, a place where both Romanian and Russian are widely spoken, are divided over whether to seek closer integration with the West or Russia.
While Western observers are disappointed in the government’s failure to enact reforms, they also fear that early elections sparked by the unrest could result in pro-Russian forces surging to power.
Filip vowed that he and other members of his government would meet Romania’s conditions. He acknowledged that laws fighting corruption “have been delayed until now.”
“If we don’t carry on with reforms that are felt in Chisinau and beyond, this political class has no chance,” Filip said at a joint news conference with Ciolos. Chisinau is the capital of Moldova.
Radu Magdin, the head of a Bucharest-based political consulting company, Smartlink Communications, said the help from Romania “can’t replace the $1 billion plus that was stolen, but it helps with basic necessities.”
The Romanian President, Klaus Iohannis, has signed today the decree on the promulgation of law for the ratification of the Agreement of reimbursable financial assistance between Romania and Moldova, signed in Chişinău on October, 7, 2015.
The law promulgated by the Romanian President was adopted at the end of April by the Senate, that partially admitted the request on reexamination sent by Klaus Iohannis at the end of 2015 and kept the article on the imposition of condition to Chişinău.
The senators were intending to eliminate an article through which the notification and the confirmation of accomplishment of measures and conditions necessary for the release of installments is made through an exchange of letters approved through decision of the Government, but the report of the informed commission was rejected in the plenum, writes the Mediafax.
The Agreement signed on October, 7, 2015, in Chişinău, provides reimbursable financial assistance between Romania, as lender, and the Republic of Moldova, as borrower, of an amount of up to 150.000.000 Euro.
In November 2015, Klaus Iohannis sent to the Parliament, for reexamination, the law and motivated the decision through the fact that he does not believe that the Republic of Moldova will continue the reforms.
“The request on reexamination of Law for ratification of the Agreement on reimbursable financial assistance between Romania and the Republic of Moldova does not mean a closed door, nor the renouncement to the assistance which we give to the Romanians from the other side of the Prut. This was the only legal instrument which we had at the disposal the loan of 150 million Euro to be reported until after the clarification of the evolutions from Chişinău.
Depending on these evolutions, the law can return anytime to promulgation. Romania remains further the same supporter of the Republic of Moldova in its pro-European course”, wrote the Romanian President, in his message.
Moreover, Romania conditioned the offering of the money with the adoption of some reforms by Chişinău. At the end of January, the Romanian Premier, Dacian Cioloş, sent to the Premier Pavel Filip a list that includes 7 measures for the creation of the conditions necessary for the transfer of the first installment of 60 million Euro from the reimbursable credit of 150 million Euro.