Friday (October 22nd): Moldova’s State of Emergency

Natalia Gavrilița

Name? Natalia Gavrilița

Westphalian identity? Moldovan

Age? 44

Why is she in the news? Moldova declared a state of emergency as Prime Minister Gavrilița said pressure levels in the country’s gas pipeline were in acritical situationthat could damage the country’s supply routes. Gavrilița hopes a state of emergency will allow Moldova to seek alternative gas sources to Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom.

Why do we care? Moldova has long been divided over closer ties with the EU or maintaining relations with Russia–a division Gavrilița will need to end soon given the state of emergency. An EU-brokered proposal will allow Moldova to receive emergency supplies from Kyiv. This proposal coupled with the fact that the EU and Moldova are in talks about a new financial assistance package make it pretty clear that Gavrilița has chosen Brussels over Soviet-era master Moscow.

Why should you care? Moldova is only the latest in a line-up of gas shortages across Europe but as one of the poorest countries in Europe and an ex-Soviet state, Moldova is likely to have a harsher winter than London or Brussels if action isn’t taken soon. So while Moldova’s gas shortages are less likely to impact you compared to China’s energy shortages, you should care 3/10 about an entire country keeping it’s lights on with winter creeping in. 

Who else cares? Vladimir Putin. While the Russian President clearly has the power to swoop in, probably shirtless and on a white horse, and save both Europe and China from their energy shortages, he is apparently unwilling to do so in his own backyard… 

Any further comments? Some experts believe that Putin has raised tariffs to punish Moldova and Gavrilița over the election of a pro-European President, Maia Sandu. Given that President Sandu hopes to transition the breakaway, pro-Russian region of Transnistria back into Moldova, these claims are not entirely irrational. Especially considering that Moldovan gas must be transported through that very territory…