President Dodon suggests a mechanism of external interference in Moldova’s internal affairs, opinion

The last steps of President Dodon externally, on the East-West directions, highlight his attempt to package the "balanced" foreign policy together with the Transnistrian issue, writes political researcher Dionis Cenusa for the News Agency IPN.

During his visit to Brussels, the second after the first one in February 2017, Igor Dodon articulated the points of the old "comprehensive package for Moldova". Invoked at the Munich Security Conference in February 2019, the "comprehensive package" is based on two concepts. The first refers to "promoting a balanced foreign policy", and the second refers to "strengthening the principle of neutrality", internationally recognized, comments the researcher.

The consensus of external actors - US, EU and Russia - concerning the overcoming of the Moldovan political crisis of June 2019 served as a benchmark to justify the validity of the concepts infused in the above mentioned "comprehensive package", observes Dionis Cenușa.

He points out that these concepts were introduced in the discussions with the Head of EU diplomacy Federica Mogherini and with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

From a proposal ignored at the Munich Conference, the "balanced foreign policy based on the status of neutrality" has been transformed by Igor Dodon into a "a basic priority for the leadership of the Republic of Moldova", argues the researcher.

Dionis Cenușa believes that without being shared with the Prime Minister Maia Sandu and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and not consulted with the Moldovan civil society, these foreign policy aspirations are illegitimate.

However, President Dodon plans to discuss the "comprehensive package for Moldova" with the EU, US and Russia and with them "to develop a road map for its successful implementation", underlines the researcher.

Neither theoretically nor practically, such a "package" is somehow logical or achievable, even if President Dodon prioritizes it on his political agenda, explains Dionis Cenușa.

First of all, foreign policy and neutrality status are an emanation of popular sovereignty and cannot be fixed from the outside, if the country is a recognized subject of international law. Another logic flaw of the proposed mechanism, described by the researcher, is that any intervention by the US, EU or Russia in matters of domestic policy will be equivalent to interference in Moldova's internal affairs.

The mechanical approach to foreign policy or neutrality degrades the country's national sovereignty and alters the will of the population. In general, before launching such requests abroad, the presidency must confront the subject at national level, including testing it in dialogue with the governing partners, concludes the Dionis Cenușa.

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