Moldova Energy and Security

Moldova Energy and Security

Economy and energy

Moldova is one of the smallest economies among European countries and among the post-Soviet states. In the years following independence, economic collapse came close to: the interruption of commercial ties and the reduced energy tariffs of the Soviet era were compounded by the difficulties linked to the Transnistrian question, whose territory hosted most of Moldovan heavy industry. Today Moldova remains a purely agricultural country and dependent on exports of food products (in particular wine and fruit and vegetables) especially to Russia.

From 2003 to 2008, the economy recorded sustained growth (over 6% of annual GDP) and, to the recession of 2009 (-6.5%), it responded with a clear recovery in the two-year period 2010-11 (5.7 % and 6.4%). In 2012 there was a new heavy drop in GDP (0.8%), caused by the decline in European demand for agricultural products and the contraction in industrial production (especially manufacturing). The recovery in domestic consumption and exports led analysts to expect a revival of the national economy. The 2014 data seem to confirm the forecast: in the last year the GDP has grown by 1.8%. The Moldovan fiscal position has also been supported in recent years by a sharp increase in foreign remittances which in 2013 reached almost 25% of GDP, thanks to the over 1.7 billion dollars arrived in the country.

According to indexdotcom, natural gas imports come almost entirely from Russia and negatively affect the trade balance. As happened in the past also for other former Soviet countries dependent on energy supplies Russians, Moscow’s position of strength has often been used to gain broader political or strategic concessions. Russia remains a key partner for Moldova. Not surprisingly, in October 2011, the two countries signed a free trade agreement that led Moscow to remove the restrictions on imports of Moldovan wine and to grant the country a discount on gas prices charged in 2012. All these measures they were reintroduced in August 2013 after Chişinău built a gas pipeline (Ungheni Iaşi Pipeline) connecting Moldova to the Romanian transmission network and, therefore, to the European network. This project represents both a turning point in Moldovan energy supply policy and a strengthening of ties with Brussels in an anti-Russian function.

Defense and security

The Moldovan Constitution establishes the permanent neutrality of the country. For this reason, Chişinău does not participate in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and is not a member of NATO, although it cooperates with NATO in the Partnership for Peace program and has negotiated two Individual Partnership Action Plans (2006 and 2010). which establish the guidelines for bilateral cooperation. Although Moldovan defense forces are based on the principle of self-sufficiency from potential foreign partners, in October 2012 the country joined the US Global Peace Operations Initiative, a program aimed at supporting operational capabilities in peacekeeping operations.. As proof of the close relationship with Western institutions, Moldova and Romania – the latter a NATO member – signed a military cooperation agreement in April 2012.

The most recent national security doctrine, approved by parliament in 2008, places the resolution of the conflict in Transnistria at the top of the objectives of the Moldovan security and defense policy. Moldova aims at the restoration of national integrity and the withdrawal of foreign forces from separatist territory. In this he explicitly refers to the Russian contingent. Secondly, with regard to the role of the Kremlin, the document supports the need for Chişinău to defend itself from possible threats of international coercion through economic, military or energy levers. Finally, with regard to the prospects of Moldovan security, the need for greater cooperation and integration with the EU and the Atlantic Alliance is mentioned on the one hand and the urgency of a reform of the military sector on the other.

The Moldovan army today is in dire straits. Due to the lack of attention paid to them by the political system and lack of funds, more than a fifth of junior officers left the military after 2005. The Military Reform Doctrine, adopted in 2004, initiated the restructuring and modernization of the military. army. The objectives of the reform consist, first of all, in a rationalization of the departments dedicated to the army (reducing them to two from the current five). A second goal would be to professionalize the military. Finally, the modernization of the military arsenal and a better organization of the Moldovan forces would allow for joint operations with Western partners.

Moldova Energy