Moldovan parliament approves new pro-Western government

Moldova's newly appointed Prime Minister Dorin Recean addresses the Moldovan Parliament in Chisinau, on Feb 16, 2023. PHOTO: AFP

CHISINAU - Moldova’s parliament approved a pro-Western government led by new Prime Minister Dorin Recean on Thursday, after he pledged to revive the economy and chart a course towards the European Union.

Mr Recean, 48, was nominated on Friday by President Maia Sandu to replace Ms Natalia Gavrilita whose government resigned following a difficult 18 months in office marked by economic turmoil and alleged meddling by Russia.

Mr Recean, a former interior minister and presidential aide, secured the approval of 62 lawmakers in the 101-seat parliament after outlining his policy plans in a programme entitled “Prosperous, Secure, European Moldova.”

“We want to live in a safe world where international treaties are respected, where problems between countries are resolved through dialogue, where there is respect for small states,” the programme declared.

“We want to be full members of the European Union,” it added.

Mr Recean said before the parliamentary vote that his government would include only four ministers who were not in the old one - the ministers for finance, infrastructure, justice and energy.

He is an experienced politician who had been serving as secretary of the Supreme Security Council, an advisory body on military and national security matters, and was interior minister from 2012 to 2015.

Moldova, a former Soviet republic of 2.5 million people that borders Ukraine and EU member Romania, is already a candidate to join the EU but the process usually takes several years.

Its economy is highly dependent on Russian gas flows and has been hit by the spillover effects of the war in Ukraine. High energy and food prices pushed up inflation in 2022 and sparked anti-government protests as Moldova hosted large numbers of displaced persons from Ukraine.

Ms Sandu has repeatedly accused Russia of trying to destabilise Moldova and accused Moscow on Monday of plotting to topple the country’s leadership, stop it joining the EU and use it in the war against Ukraine.

Russia, which has troops in Moldova’s breakaway Transdniestria region, denied the allegations.

Tensions have at times been exacerbated by missile debris landing on Moldovan territory after Russian attacks on Ukraine.

In the fourth such incident of the war, police said on Thursday missile debris had been found in northern Moldova near the border with Ukraine soon after the latest wave of Russian air strikes. Moscow did not immediately comment on the report. REUTERS

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