Will Putin make a grab for part of Moldova, and then eastern Ukraine?

Lenin state in Comrat, Gagauzia, Moldova

There are few issues more contentious in Ukraine than the possibility of “federalizing” its rebellious eastern provinces into autonomous republics…

moldova-map…What often goes unmentioned is the rough example of such a region just next door. Just across Ukraine’s southwestern border in Moldova lies Gagauzia, a semi-autonomous, poor, agricultural region whose profile could rise as tensions in the region deepen…

….In the Gagauzian capital of Comrat, a statue of Lenin stands in front of the main parliament building, which looks out over Lenin Street, a dusty road that runs through the center of the small city. Nearby, communist-era blocks tower over simple, one-story brick houses. Some of the older buildings still display faded hammer and sickle emblems.

Gagauzia remains one of the poorest regions of Moldova, itself the poorest country in Europe. There is little visible sign of economic growth or opportunity, and villages are often nearly deserted, the residents away working in countries like Russia.

In late March the autonomous region elected its new bashkan, a position akin to governor, bringing in Irina Vlah, a politician who has actively called for the region to have closer ties to Russia. This comes as the rest of the country has taken steps toward the European Union, signing an EU association agreement last June alongside Ukraine…

Gagauzia-Moldova-Pridnestrovie

Horse cart and old soviet Lada car on a street in Comrat, Moldova on April 24, 2007. Comrat is capital of Gagauzia a region with Turkish ethnic background.  Many people in Moldova miss Soviet Union, they claim that the live was much better for them under communist regime. Moldova is presently the poorest country in Europe. Many of its young citizens emmigrate abroad to escape unemployment and earn money. It is very hard for Moldovans to travel abroad because of visa restrictions.

Horse cart and old soviet Lada car on a street in Comrat, Moldova on April 24, 2007. Comrat is capital of Gagauzia a region with Turkish ethnic background. Many people in Moldova miss Soviet Union, they claim that the live was much better for them under communist regime.
Moldova is presently the poorest country in Europe. Many of its young citizens emmigrate abroad to escape unemployment and earn money. It is very hard for Moldovans to travel abroad because of visa restrictions.

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