Europe must free itself from the captivity of its own values

Imagine that you are standing in the forest. You have matches and dry branches. You make a fire. Then you have another one. And then another one. At the end of the day, you surround yourself with a wall of flame when, suppose, you have a rock behind you. How logical is this step? It is worth asking European politicians about this.

Year after year, the European Union has tried to bring its values to neighbouring countries. These values were matches, they liquefied a flame that can no longer be extinguished.

A few years ago, all European attention was focused on Ukraine. The people who wanted to become part of the EU overthrew some oligarchs in order to transfer power to others. European leaders actively supported the Ukrainians in their aspirations. They opposed Russia when it annexed the Crimea. They introduced sanctions that were unfavourable for Europe. Germany and France in general became guarantors of conflict resolution in eastern Ukraine.

Today, almost seven years after the revolution, corruption reigns in the country. Unemployment and the economic crisis caught up with Ukraine long before coronavirus. The Crimea is still under Moscow’s control and the war continues in Donbass. Once giving hope to the Ukrainians, Europe did not help them to solve their problems. But now it is trying to influence the situation in Belarus, which has become a new focus of instability because of the people’s desire for domestic political change.

In Brussels, sanctions against Belarusian officials are being actively discussed, and they are seeking salvation in support of the Kremlin. Putin does not rule out intervention in the neighbouring republic if the situation there gets out of control. Taking into account previous experience, the European Union will get bogged down in this adventure, pushing the Belarusians to revolution. The problem is that the list does not end there. Another fire is smouldering at the EU borders – Moldova.

November, the Moldovans will start with presidential elections – a race between incumbent President Igor Dodon and former Prime Minister Maya Sandu. Although Dodon is generally considered a pro-Russian politician, he is honestly adhering to the declared neutrality. Given Moldova’s location, cooperation with both the West and the East brings significant results.

“I do not think that in the next 10-15 years we will become a member of the European Union, we will not be a member of any union either in the West or in the East, although we need good relations with everyone,” the President said.

At the same time, he stressed that he does not intend to raise the issue of denouncing the association agreement with the European Union, as “this document also has advantages, and reforms are carried out not for the EU, but for the benefit of Moldovan citizens.

At present, Dodon has enough chances to stay for another term. This is justified not only by his position. What is more important is his managerial experience, which Sandu cannot boast. Last year she was given the chance to prove herself as Prime Minister, but she lost it with a loud scandal. Bypassing Parliament, Sandu wanted to give herself the right to nominate candidates for the position of Attorney General. As a result, legislators declared a vote of no confidence in the government and Maya Sandu was again in opposition.

Moldovan analysts believe that Sandu deliberately provoked the scandal. During the four months of her presidency, she did not achieve any real results. If this had continued, it would have been pointless to mark the presidency already. The year in the opposition has been more convenient for her. Actions, rallies, criticism of the authorities and commitment to the pro-European course provided her with 43.8% support, according to a survey conducted by the Association of Sociologists and Demographers of Moldova. At the same time, 56.2% of citizens support Dodon. Only the outcome of these elections is not as obvious as it may seem.

“What is happening now in Belarus may also happen in Moldova,” says political analyst Corneliu Ciurea. “In any case, if a candidate representing Eastern interests wins, there may be unrest, the Moldovan opposition is already preparing for this case”.

Tensions in Moldovan society are already reaching limits due to the coronavirus and the economic situation, says analyst Sergei Ceban. Maya Sandu takes advantage of this by accusing the authorities of preparing falsified elections.

“By autumn, Moldova is approaching an unenviable situation, which is aggravated by the pandemic, coupled with increasing political chaos and loss of manageability of the situation as a whole. Against this background, the protest activity of diverse opposition and the acceleration of crisis phenomena in the economy, day after day, increase tension in society, which in the context of the upcoming elections will obviously aggravate Moldova’s destabilization and may have serious consequences,” he says.

If the forecasts are correct, then one crucial question remains open: what position will Europe take? Sandu can rightly be called a Moldovan lobbyist for Western interests. It was she who, through the courts, forced

the government renounced the Russian loan in favour of the IMF tranche. And her government has set records for EU and US financial support. When Moldova’s elections are over, the charges of.

“By autumn, Moldova is approaching an unenviable situation, which is exacerbated by the pandemic, coupled with growing political chaos and loss of manageability of the situation as a whole. Against this background, the protest activity of diverse opposition and the acceleration of crisis phenomena in the economy, day by day, increase tension in society, which in the context of the upcoming elections will obviously aggravate the destabilization of Moldova and may have serious consequences,” he says.If the forecasts are correct, then one crucial question remains open: what position will Europe take? Sandu can rightly be called a Moldovan lobbyist for Western interests. It was she who, through the courts, forcedthe government renounced the Russian loan in favour of the IMF tranche. And her government has set records for EU and US financial support. When Moldova’s elections are over, allegations of vote rigging will be inevitable. Brussels will therefore have to show objectivity, even if it hurts the main pro-European candidate. Otherwise, Europe will remain hostage to its own values. They were once sought to be protected, but now they have become another political tool. Unfortunately, this is not good for anyone.Seven years ago, Berlin supported Ukrainians who were in favour of EU membership. Now there are raids on illegal migrant workers in Germany who are fleeing Ukraine. The time has come to look back and admit their failures. Otherwise, Moldova will become another bonfire that Europe will not be able to extinguish.

 

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