The Russian Foreign Ministry issued an uncharacteristically detailed warning about one of the possible scenarios that might transpire in this former Soviet republic by the end of the month following its upcoming parliamentary elections on 24 February.
The Ministry’s Warning About Moldova
Moldova might very well be on the edge of experiencing its own Maidan by the end of the month, judging by an uncharacteristically detailed warning that was just issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry ahead of the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections on 24 February. As reported by TASS, Russia’s diplomats published a commentary on Tuesday in which they forewarned about the following scenario:
“Interference in the internal affairs of other countries has long become a familiar feature of Washington’s foreign policy. This is seen particularly well in Venezuela, where the United States in fact is trying to stage a government coup. Its occupation of part of Syrian territory after unsuccessful attempts to topple a legitimate government in Damascus belongs here, too. Apparently, a similar scenario is being prepared for Moldova. As soon as he took office last autumn, (US Ambassador to Moldova Derek) Hogan became deeply involved in Moldova’s internal processes.
He’s been making public statements to support some politicians against others and issuing recommendations as to how to hold parliamentary elections. If the winner (of the upcoming elections) is disliked by Washington, the Moldovans will be threatened with the disruption of ties with the West and even a rerun of Ukraine’s Maidan scenario. It is very undesirable to see Moldova become another test site for such irresponsible experiments, which have already ruined Iraq and Libya and plunged Syria and Ukraine into the turmoil of bloody conflicts.”
It’s very possible that something of the sort is in the works when considering the contradictory interests that the US and Russia have in the former Soviet republic. Both countries are after diametrically opposing outcomes that naturally make Moldova a New Cold War fault line of outsized geostrategic importance.
Russia vs. America
Russia wants to retain Moldova’s existence as an independent state in accordance with the will of the majority of its population while carefully contributing to a peaceful resolution of the Transnistria Conflict, whereas the US might not be above dissolving the Moldovan state if its plans to pull it into the “Euro-Atlantic” orbit chaotically fail. About America’s agenda, it might very well try to implement a combined Venezuelan-Syrian-Ukrainian HybridWarscenario in Moldova that sees a failed military coup attempt (or threat thereof) transition into an Unconventional War that ends with the success of a pro-reunification referendum with Romania modelled off of the Crimean precedent.
To explain, Russian-friendly multipolar President Dodon recently had to refute fake news that the military is allegedly planning a coup if the upcoming election isn’t free and fair (understood by context to mean that he won and would be accused of rigging it), but the rumor might nevertheless influence how the electorate votes.
For example, it’s entirely possible that an influential Indian ideologue’s fear mongering last year about the possibility that his country could invade its much smaller neighbor in the Maldives if the incumbent won the election contributed to his ultimate loss after some of his supporters might have figured that they’d be voting for their country’s de-facto annexation to India.
So too, in this instance, might Moldovans think that voting for Dodon would be a surefire way of triggering his pro-American “deep state” enemies’ tripwire of carrying out a military coup in Moldova on the purported basis of “restoring democracy”, just like how the US wants the Venezuelan one to do against Maduro on a similar pretext.
…To Syria & Ukraine
Failing that scenario’s actualization (both in terms of a military coup, and Dodon’s supporters voting against him or abstaining for the sake of preventing the aforementioned from happening), the next step in this phased regime change operation might realistically be to provoke Syrian-like Unconventional Warfare in the capital prior to pulling off a Color Revolution.
Usually Color Revolutions precede Unconventional Warfare and not the reverse, but Moldova is a special case where the breakdown of the constitutional order could be abused as the basis for manipulatively recreating a Crimean scenario in the country whereby pro-Romanian Moldovans would hold a referendum for reunification with their ethno-historical homeland.
There’s nothing wrong with that happening in principle, but it can almost be assured that the timing of the vote and the context in which it would be occurring within the politically divided country would probably lead to the disenfranchisement of those who are against this happening, basically ensuring that it succeeds against the will of the rest of the population who it would directly affect.
The Worst-Case Scenario In Transnistria
It should be said that the wishes of those in Transnistria don’t matter in this sense since they already democratically indicated that they wish to be a separate nation, but what’s being referred to is the many in so-called “rump Moldova” who are proud of their country’s independence in spite of its ethno-cultural similarities with Romania and want to preserve its statehood.
All of this is of immediate relevance for Russia because Moscow maintains a military presence in Transnistria that might come under threat in the event that Moldova reunites with Romania under questionable circumstances unlike the more clear-cut Crimean precedent that it would evidently be trying to emulate, albeit in geopolitically weaponized manner.
The geography of the potential theater is such that Russia could not reliably resupply its forces in Transnistria without passing through either hostile Ukraine or NATO-member “Greater Romania”, thus worryingly threatening a wider conflict if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ warning comes to pass about an impending regime change provocation in Moldova.
That said, it would be wrong to imply that the next global crisis is right around the corner and about to break out in Moldova in less than two weeks’ time, but just that observers should be alert for any signs that this scenario might be unfolding whether incrementally or otherwise in order to not be taken off guard in case some of this forecast materializes.
By Andrew Korybko
Source: Eurasia Future