Accountability in Moldova

Though it doesn’t own the headlines like it used to, the political crisis in Moldova continues unabated, and deserves greater international attention.  Here Arcadie Barbarosie and Igor Botan from Chisinau make the case for a U.S. role in helping bring some stability.

The United States should do more to help bring stability to Moldova. Together with the EU, the US can help ensure a credible investigation of the post-election violence and complaints against the police. America should be more energetic in demanding that the Moldovan authorities respect the rule of law, issue a roster of all detained persons, provide them access to lawyers and family members, and guarantee that they are not harassed. (…)

In the long run, the US and EU should support civil societyorganisations in pressing Moldova’s government to guarantee moreequitable distribution of television time, to stop police harassment ofopposition political leaders and workers as well as journalists, toreform the police and end the ruling party’s abuse of stateinstitutions, and to allow all political parties more opportunity toinspect election rolls and monitor polling stations. They should insistthat opposition parties are included in a dialogue.

The US can put weight behind its demands by placing conditions onits financial assistance to Moldova. The EU has even more leverage.Moldova is more dependent on the EU than any other former Sovietrepublic. More than half of the country’s trade is with the union, andMoldova receives significant EU financial assistance. Most Moldovanemigrants work in the EU, and almost 75 per cent of Moldova’spopulation support EU membership.

Romania, too, should play its part and offer to sign a basic treaty and a border agreement with Moldova.