Moldovans torn between Russia and the West
Every year, about 3,000 people leave Moldova, one of the poorest countries in Europe. Inflation is off the charts, while wage and pensions aren’t keeping up. At the same time, Moldovans are at a crossroads over common national identity. While some eye closer relations with the EU and even unification with Romania, others risk being left out.
In June 2022, Moldova was granted EU candidate status. The country led by pro-Western President Maia Sandu enjoys financial support from the US and EU in humanitarian assistance and for economic development. ‘Decisions for Moldova aren’t made in Moldova,’ says former president of Moldova, Vladimir Voronin. Another former president, Igor Dodon, has been branded by the Sandu government as pro-Russian and placed under house arrest for alleged corruption and treason. In 30 years of its independence Moldova has had six heads of state and swayed between Russia and the West.
Moldova emerged as a result of the USSR collapse. As in other parts of the former Soviet Union, there was a rise in national consciousness. Unrecognized Transdniestrian Moldovan Republic, or Transnistria, that broke away from Moldova in the early 1990s remains a frozen conflict. Transnistria maintains a close relationship with Moscow and wants to hold to its multicultural identity. There’s also strong support for Russia among the Gagauz people in the country’s south.
Where’s Moldova heading - East or West? The documentary takes a closer look at the current situation. Former presidents Igor Dodon and Vladimir Voronin, as well as ordinary families talk about the future of their country.