Igor Boțan: War in Ukraine has a negative impact on migration from Moldova

Together with the decrease in the number of Moldovans in the Russian Federation, the figure began to increase dramatically, especially in Germany, the UK and France. These changes occurred because economic sanctions against the Russian Federation were first introduced in 2014 for the annexation of Crimea. The process of transferring money became difficult and the labor market in the Russian Federation underwent a change. Also, in 2014, the visa regime for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova was liberalized, political pundit Igor Boțan, the permanent expert of IPN’s project, stated in a public debate centering on migration.

The expert noted that last year, the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation published the dynamics of Moldovan citizens’ stay in Russia. According to the document, since 2014, when the annexation of Crimea took place, the number of Moldovans has decreased from 700,000 to about 80,000. The war in Ukraine has a negative impact on migration from Moldova.

“We know for sure that when this war broke out in the neighboring country, many families left the Republic of Moldova for fear that the war can spill over into the Republic of Moldova. I know many young and wealthy families that left. Many of them returned. On the territory of the Republic of Moldova, we have tens of thousands of citizens from Ukraine who, probably, when the war ends, will principally go back, but some will remain in the Republic of Moldova. These are absolutely natural processes," Igor Botan said.

The expert reminded that, according to the results of opinion polls conducted 10-15 years ago, over 20% of the Moldovans intended to leave Moldova then and when circumstances worsen, such as a war in the region, out of these segments 20% more would vigorously plead to leave Moldova, taking into account how things evolve.

Igor Boțan also said that we have the highest concentration of Moldovan citizens in Italy. “Surprisingly, we discovered that we have a lot of citizens in Germany, France, the UK. Ten years ago, it was hard to anticipate something like this. We have a fairly large diaspora in the United States of America,” the expert pointed out.

The expert said that the impact of the diaspora on the political processes in Moldova is visible. “Dear fellow citizens of the diaspora, of course the current government achieved particular successes and it also has particular sins. But the two best ministers in the Government of the Republic of Moldova after the parliamentary elections are from the diaspora. These are Marcel Spatari, who served as Minister of Labor and Social Protection and simply saved the Republic of Moldova in the first year after the war, during the winter period, and Nicu Popescu, who had done the most important work for the Republic of Moldova to obtain the EU candidate status and start negotiations with the European Union. This is the impact made by the people from the diaspora on the Republic of Moldova,” concluded Igor Igor Boțan.

The public debate entitled “Why do the Moldovans leave? Under what conditions can they return?” was the 306th installment of the project “Developing political culture through public debates”, which is carried out by IPN News Agency with the support of the German “Hanns Seidel” Foundation.

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