Moscow’s Man in Moldova
The EU has decided to fully integrate Moldova into its single energy market. According to laws passed in the last year, Chisinau must comply with the norms set out in the Third Energy Package by 2020. These norms provide for splitting gas sales and transportation, which will most probably force Gazprom out of Moldova’s gas transport system.
The Democratic Party of Moldova, which holds a majority in parliament, is fully pro-Western. Because of the current confrontation with Russia, it is important for the United States and, to some extent, the EU to ensure that parliament remains oriented toward the West even though it sees Moldova as a “captured state” in which power is concentrated in the hands of the oligarch and Democratic Party leader Vlad Plahotniuc. Without a parliamentary majority, Igor Dodon will have limited options unless he works with the Democratic Party.
The history of Russian-Moldovan negotiations in the framework of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation suggests that a so-called “integration of integrations” is the way forward: Moscow is now hoping to find a way to let Moldova enjoy free trade agreements with both the EU and the EAEU.