Moldova’s Instability Amid the War in Ukraine

Written by Ash Breedlove

February 11, 2023

Moldova’s prime minister, Natalia Gavrilita, unexpectedly resigned on February 10th. During her 18-month period as prime minister, Gavrilita contended with Moldova’s energy crisis and a struggling economy with rising rates of inflation. She often voiced her pro-Western views and support for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The day before she resigned, Zelensky stated publicly to EU leaders that Ukraine had information indicating that Russia had plans to “destroy” Moldova. Moldova’s intelligence services later corroborated Zelensky’s claim saying they had received Russia’s plans to destabilize Moldova. Gavrilita’s resignation came soon after a Russian missile passed over Moldovan airspace on Friday.

President Maia Sandu has appointed pro-Western economist Dorin Recean to replace Gavrilita. Recean, currently the president’s defense and security advisor, previously served as interior minister from 2012-2015. Recean now has the daunting task of forming a new government in 15 days to present to the Moldovan parliament for a vote. The vote will likely be in his favor since Sandu’s party, the Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS), has the majority in Parliament. While this transition from Gavrilita to Recean causes uncertainty for Moldova’s institutions, Moldova will continue to forge closer ties to Western partners in the wake of the war in Ukraine and Russia’s attempts to destabilize the nation.

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