The west seems to lack up-to-date knowledge about Moldova. Can Europe's poorest country ever achieve real independence from Russia?
Communism's fall gave the nations of the former Soviet bloc a chance to turn towards democracy, a market economy, and the rule of law. Some countries cut ties decisively with the communist past; others were less successful, a few failed catastrophically.
Moldova and Georgia were in the last category until recently. Their economic and political failures were in large part due to secessionist movements - actively supported by Russia - that aimed at keeping both countries in the Kremlin's "sphere of influence." When bloody conflicts erupted in Transdnistria, Abkhazia, and South-Ossetia, Russia turned its military presence into "peacekeeping" forces as a means of maintaining control.
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