Experts: Gagauzia population captive to Russian propaganda

Moldovan-Romanian relations are distorted by the media in ATU Gagauzia, while the population of the region remains prey to information propaganda. These conclusions were voiced by political commentators in Chișinău, who explained why the population of the Gagauz region expressed an anti-European vote, despite benefiting from heavy investments from Romania. According to the experts, Romania does not expect investments in Gagauzia to turn into pro-European votes, and rather views it as an investment in the well-being of citizens.

Some of the Romanian investment projects include: dozens of renovated kindergartens, dozens of school buses for the region's high schools, a Romanian information center at the University of Comrat and medical equipment for the Comrat hospital. Despite these investments, more than 80% of the region's population supported the PCRM-PSRM bloc at the polling stations at the snap parliamentary elections held in July. Experts explain that media propaganda against Romania shaped this phenomenon.

"With regret, this ethnic minority has not been integrated into the state of Moldova. The mentality and psychological aspects of this minority still relate to the Soviet period, a feeling that is strongly fueled by the Russian media. Frequently, the media does not accurately reflect Moldovan-Romanian relations. Rather, it attempts to generate phobias in relation to Romania, which creates the permanent perception of the adversary, the enemy that drives towards the disappearance of Moldova", said political commentator Ion Tăbârță during the TVR Moldova show "Punctul pe Azi".

According to some political commentators, Chișinău has failed badly to integrate the Gagauz minority. Romania's stake is not necessarily to win pro-European votes in exchange for investments in the ATU Gagauzia.

"We are witnessing a paradox in which European investments, including Romanian ones, have intensified in the Gagauz region, while the population remains captive to propaganda. This should raise concerns in Chișinău and in the European Union. However, we should not expect Romanian investments in Gagauzia to necessarily translate into pro-European votes. These are long-term investments in the well-being of the population. Romania has also encouraged the donation of vaccines for the Transnistrian region, knowing that the population remembers these things. Whether or not the situation in Gagauzia and on the left bank of the Dniester changes, this assistance is remembered", said political commentator Vlad Turcanu.

Romania is currently financially contributing to the construction of a new block at the "Mihai Eminescu" high school, the only Romanian-language high school in Comrat. The Romanian Government has allocated 15 million lei, out of the total project value of 20 million lei.

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