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Moldova’s pro-EU aspirations echo in massive rally

Tens of thousands thronged the streets of Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, on Sunday in a massive show of support for the government’s pro-European Union agenda. The country, severely affected by Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, a close neighbor, has reiterated its opposition to this act and formally applied for EU membership.

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Moldovan President Maia Sandu has pointed the finger at Russia, claiming it is trying to thwart Moldova’s progress towards European integration through the fomenting of anti-government protests and propaganda – allegations that Moscow denies. Speaking at the rally, Sandu expressed Moldova’s resistance to any coercion from the Kremlin. She stated the nation’s aspiration to cease being a fringe player in Europe and affirmed that Moldova aims to join the EU by 2030.

The European Parliament President, Roberta Metsola, also addressed the enthusiastic crowd, ensuring them that Europe would welcome Moldova warmly. Demonstrators urged their political leaders to alter the country’s constitution to explicitly highlight its European orientation.

Meanwhile, exiled businessman Ilan Shor, leader of the pro-Russian opposition Shor party, announced his intention to call for a referendum on Moldova’s foreign policy direction. Shor, who has been declared a Russian influence agent by the US and sentenced in absentia to 15 years for his involvement in the 2014 theft from Moldovan banks, addressed his followers at competing rallies via video link.

The sea of supporters in Chisinau indicates a significant public desire for closer ties with Europe, amidst ongoing political tension and allegations of foreign interference.

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