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Russian sanctions against Moldova. Minor effects, major potential. OSW COMMENTARY No. 152, 2014-11-06

Całus, Kamil (2014) Russian sanctions against Moldova. Minor effects, major potential. OSW COMMENTARY No. 152, 2014-11-06. [Policy Paper]

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    Russia has been Moldova’s main trade partner and Russian capital has accounted for a large part of its foreign investments, dominating in the energy and the banking sectors. Moreover, Russia has been a key job market for Moldovan expatriate workers. In the economic sphere, this is making Moldova unilaterally dependent on Russia. Moscow has been attempting to exploit this situation to put pressure on the authorities in Chișinău for quite some time. In recent months Russia has increasingly used instruments for exerting economic pressure on Moldova, as a means of responding to the current authorities’ pro-Western policy. A key element of this policy was Moldova’s signing on 27 June 2014 of the Association Agreement with the EU (which came into force on 1 September 2014). Over the last year, Russia has implemented a number of import restrictions on Moldovan goods. The aim of the Russian actions is to fuel social disappointment, and ultimately – to prevent the pro-European coalition currently in power from winning the parliamentary elections scheduled for 30 November 2014. Another aim might be to convince the Moldovan authorities to suspend the implementation of the Association Agreement – a plan openly put forward by Vladimir Putin during the CIS summit in Minsk on 10 October 2014. So far, however, the Russian economic sanctions have failed to produce the expected results. Support for the pro-European parties has been high, and there is little chance that the pro-Russian groups might achieve a parliamentary majority. It is not inconceivable, then, that in the upcoming months Moscow might decide to resort to other, more potent instruments of economic pressure such as speculation on the financial market, carried out as part of its de facto control over the banking sector. Another possibility is further tightening of trade restrictions, issuing expatriate workers from Russia or using Moldova’s dependence on Russian energy.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Russia
    Countries > Moldova
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) > OSW Commentary
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2014 10:04
    Number of Pages: 8
    Last Modified: 08 Dec 2014 10:30

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