Igor Boțan: Moldova’s aligning with EU sanctions comes with a series of risks and benefits

Moldova’s aligning with the sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia comes with a series of benefits and also risks that should be assumed. The citizens immediately feel the negative effects through the rise in natural gas and oil prices and the limitation of access to the Russian market. However, the benefits are larger and are related to the future. It goes to the ensuring of energy independence, settlement of the Transnistrian conflict, ensuring of the Republic of Moldova’s security, political pundit Igor Boțan stated in a public debate hosted by IPN.

“The capacity of the government, the political class to persuade the citizens that not the Republic of Moldova is to blame for such a situation is important. We have the Russian Federation as an important player in the region, which considers that it has the right to claim the so-called “historical rights”. We felt on our skin what this means. For 30 years, a part of the territory of the Republic of Moldova has been under the occupation of the Russian Federation and the Constitutional Court’a decision of May 2017 confirms this. Also, the Russian Federation for several times imposed economic and commercial sanctions on the Republic of Moldova arbitrarily,” stated Igor Boțan.

The permanent expert of IPN’s project noted that Moldova has several important reasons not to align itself with the sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia and the dependence on Russian gas was one of this. Moldova needed a year to diversify its gas import sources. Now, as an EU candidate state, it has to align itself with those sanctions.

Asked why the EU imposes these sanctions gradually, not immediately and in several directions simultaneously, the expert said the imposition of sanctions affects the EU member states too and the process therefore is treated with maximum responsibility and attention.

“Things are done gradually, from a low level, and are progressively expanded. Their intensity and coverage are extended. There are ten packages of sanctions that cover private individuals, legal entities and states. The sanctions against the Russian banking system include the impossibility of using the SWIFT regime. There are sanctions of several types, depending on their targets,” stated Igor Boțan.

He noted that Russia has a lot to lose as a result of the sanctions and the EU gradually achieves its objective of discouraging the aggressor state that considers these sanctions illegal as it believes that only the EU Security Council can impose sanctions.

“The EU, the United States and other states resort to the adoption of the resolutions of the UN General Assembly, which are not mandatory. The sanctions are imposed by countries with potential to discourage an aggressor state like the Russian Federation given that these countries also lose as a result of the imposition of sanctions,” said Igor Boțan, noting the ensuring of a balance between interests is a key element of international law.

The public debate entitled “Alignment with EU sanctions against Russia: reasons and risks” was the 277th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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