Situation normal: Washington backs Moldovan oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc

Excerpts

U.S. Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, during a visit to Bucharest, supported the “parliamentary majority” and government formed in the Republic of Moldova under the auspices of the Democratic Party. She also made it clear that she considered the government crisis in Chisinau to have been exhausted and the new regime “pro-European.” 

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and Victoria Nuland in Bucharest, Jan. 18.

Thus, Washington has recognized the victory of the Democratic Party, led by oligarch Vladimir Plahotniuc, in the struggle for power in Moldova. In addition, the United States and Romania have expressed their willingness to provide assistance to the new cabinet, both political and financial.

Visiting Bucharest January 18 in the framework of a regional tour, Nuland said that Washington supports the emergence of a majority in the Moldovan Parliament that will encourage the development of “pro-European” government. According to her, in the last months Moldova passed through a governmental crisis, but after the establishment of this majority “the situation looks much better.”

“We, together with our partners support the negotiations for the establishment of a new government,” added Nuland.

The future government, she said, should “resume the implementation of reforms in the European style.” Nuland said that it is a question of judicial reform, as well as in the banking and financial sectors. “The new government must return to negotiations with the IMF,” she said.

At a meeting with the Romanian leadership, Nuland discussed the possibility of “urgent humanitarian assistance” for Chisinau, as well as “the need for long-term political and economic support.”

“The most important thing is that in Moldova there is a strong pro-European government,” she added.

The assistant secretary said the United States and Romania support the desire of people in Moldova “to live in a European democratic country” and “to have responsible leaders who will be able to implement a reform program together.”

“This is the best way to ensure the future of Moldova,” she said.

Nuland added that both Romania and the U.S. and NATO have “programs to support security for Moldova.” But again, in Chisinau, “there should be a government with which we will work to implement these programs.”

Victoria Nuland’s statement was the first by an official representative of Washington on the situation in Chisinau since the start of the current round of political crisis in Moldova. From her talk in Bucharest, it can be concluded that the United States considers the parliamentary majority “pro-democracy,” the legitimacy of which is disputed by many in Moldova.

Thus, Washington has, in fact, acknowledged the victory in the struggle for power in Moldova of the first deputy chairman of the Democratic Party, Vladimir Plahotniuc, by whose efforts this majority was created. It is also clear that the new cabinet loyal to him will receive political and financial support.

Given the political weight of the United States in the international arena, it could mean the legitimization of the new foreign policy of the Moldovan authorities and unlocking help from the International Monetary Fund and other donors. It also cuts the ground from under the feet of the leaders of Chisinau protests against the absolute power of Vladimir Plahotniuc. …

Source

Translated by Greg Butterfield

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