Moldova: A geopolitical hostage

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The man who used to walk on water

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The path to European integration goes through Ukraine



“WE DO not want to be a Ukrainian hostage,” says Iurie Leanca, Moldova’s prime minister. At a summit in Vilnius on November 28th and 29th, Moldova will sign important agreements on political co-operation, reform and free trade with the European Union. The European Commission will also propose visa-free travel for Moldovans to the EU’s Schengen area. But the big question is whether Ukraine, its giant neighbour, does the same. If not, it will be hard for Moldovans to resist Russian pressure to abandon their country’s path to European integration.

Moldova is Europe’s poorest country. It has 3.6m people, not including 400,000 in the breakaway region of Transdniestria. Of its labour force of 1.3m, at least half are abroad, says Valeriu Lazar, the economy minister. Educated people leave for Romania where the same language is …

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