Moldova Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita announced her resignation on February 10. President Maia Sandu appointed the secretary general of the Supreme Security Council Dorin Recean as the candidate to become the next prime minister.
Leader of the government since August 2021, the prime minister of Moldova Natalia Gavrilita announced her resignation on February 10. The president of Moldova Maia Sandu appointed Dorin Recean as the candidate to become the next prime minister.
Dorin Recean has now two weeks to form a new government and be endorsed by the parliament with a vote of confidence. For Mr. Recean, the new government will keep on its integration path into Europe and the first priority will be “order and discipline in the institution.”
Ms. Gavrilita justified her resignation by claiming her work was not sufficiently supported in her own country.
During her announcement, Ms. Gavrilita praised that progress made by her government “has been greatly appreciated by the European Union” but wished that “if the government had the same support and trust at home as what we felt in our European partners, we would have been able to advance further and faster.”
In the context of the war in its Ukrainian neighbor, energy vulnerability to Russia, fears of instability in Transnistria and Russian plots to destabilize the country, the now-former prime minister urged Moldovans to “remain united and in solidarity, in a country where the rights and freedoms of every citizen are respected.” She didn’t answer journalists’ questions after her statement.
According to Radio Europe Liberă, a media company funded by the United States Congress, the resignation takes place amid speculation of divergent camps within the Party of Action and Solidarity, the ruling party founded by Ms. Sandu, the pro-European president in office since December 2020.
The Party of Action and Solidarity currently has a comfortable majority in parliament with 63 seats out of 101.
Earlier this week, the anti-corruption former PM Ms. Gavrilita was in Brussels to meet NATO and European Union representatives in order to strengthen their cooperation. Moldova has been a new candidate for accession to the European Union since last June.
After their meeting, the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that Moldova could keep on counting on the European Union as it continues to support Moldova’s economy and energy security. The E.U. proposed 145 million euros in new funding last week.
Josep Borrell, the vice president of the European Commission, declared the European Union “welcomed the strong commitment of the Moldovan government to reforms that aim at bringing Moldova closer to the E.U., in particular a comprehensive justice system reform, fighting corruption and ensuring the de-politicization of state institutions.”
Since October 2021 the European Union mobilized over 1 billion euros in loans and grants, including 250 million euros for energy support. Energy supply is indeed one of the keys to the country’s stability as Moldova has been vulnerable to Russia for it. Russian natural gas prices for Moldova dramatically increased as early as October 2021.
The 2022 average inflation rate compared to 2021 in Moldova reached 29 percent. Gas prices increased sevenfold, electricity prices were multiplied by three in a year, said Ms. Gavrilia earlier this week in Brussels.
According to Ms. Gavrilita, the dramatic increase in energy prices is the main reason for the high inflation rate. One of the main tasks of her government was to “maintain stability in the country, including the social-economic situation and the management of the economic recession,” she then stated when meeting NATO representatives.
An hour before Ms. Gavrilita’s resignation, Moldovan authorities confirmed that a new Russian missile flew over Moldovan air space in the morning on its way to targets in Ukraine. It also flew over Romania. The Russian ambassador was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a consequence.
On Thursday, Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky said they intercepted the Russian plan to destabilize Moldova and informed President Sandu about it. Moldova’s Intelligence and Security Service in a statement confirmed that “subversive activities were identified with the aim of undermining the Republic of Moldova, destabilizing and violating public order.”
Moldovan and American authorities have been claiming that demonstrations in the country are paid for by people close to Russia and supported by Moscow for destabilizing the country.
Ms. Sandu stated she took note of the prime minister’s resignation and thanked her “for her enormous sacrifice and efforts to lead the country in a time of so many crises.” She added that “despite unprecedented challenges, the country was governed responsibly, with great care and dedicated work. We have stability, peace and development – where others wanted war and bankruptcy.”
The president appointed Dorin Recean as the candidate to become the next prime minister. He served as Interior Minister from 2012 to 2015 and is one of the most trusted politicians of Ms. Sandu. Mr. Recean as secretary general of the Supreme Security Council is the presidential advisor on security issues. He was appointed in early February 2022 a few days before Russia invaded Ukraine.
He led talks last year in April with Vadim Krasnoselski, the autonomist leader of the Transnistria region who is in favor of being part of Russia, when Moldova feared a series of explosions in the region could be used by Russia as a reason to intervene in Transnistria like in Ukraine.
The main line of the new government’s program remains European integration, according to Mr. Recean. He also outlined his three main action points, the first one being “order and discipline in the institution. Institutions must serve the citizens, and the business environment. Yes, there is resistance, but we will overcome it.” The second is to help the economy by bringing more “resources, particularly for investment, in the small and medium-sized enterprise sector”. The third one is “peace and stability” as the country faces the “highest risks of provocations since WWII.”