Moldova names new pro-EU prime minister after government falls amid Russian pressure

By | February 10, 2023

Politico reports:

Moldovan President Maia Sandu on Friday nominated a new prime minister to keep her country on a pro-EU trajectory after the previous government fell earlier in the day, following months of rising Russian pressure amid the war in Ukraine.

She named Dorin Recean, a noted pro-EU figure and current national security adviser, to replace Natalia Gavrilița, as the new head of government. The Moldovan parliament, where Sandu’s party holds a comfortable majority with 63 out of 101 seats, will vote to confirm the nomination next week.

At a surprise press briefing Friday, now-former Prime Minister Gavrilița announced she was resigning together with her pro-Western government. Moldova was granted candidate status to the European Union last June, together with Ukraine, but the government has faced intense pressure from Moscow, which has sought to undermine its authority.

“If our government had had the same support at home as we had from our European partners, we could have advanced further and faster,” Gavriliţa said. “Moldova is entering a new phase, one in which security is our priority,” she added.

President Maia Sandu said she would launch discussions with the political parties in parliament to appoint a new prime minister.

The Moldovan government has long accused Russia, which bases soldiers in the breakaway region of Transnistria in the east, of stirring unrest in the country, including protests in the capital, Chișinău. In an interview with POLITICO last month, Sandu accused Russia of using the energy crisis and spiraling costs to “bring instability to Moldova,” referring to disinformation efforts by Russia to stoke anti-government feeling. [Continue reading…]

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