On Sunday, thousands of people took to the streets of the capital city outside Moldova’s government to denounce high inflation and fuel prices while also calling for the resignation of the country’s pro-Western president Maia Sandu and her government. The people have also blamed Sandu for not negotiating reasonable gas prices from Moscow.
As per reports, the crowd gathered near the city’s main square where the police estimate that over 6,000 were present for the protests. “Moldova is now in clinical death, to which the current authorities have brought it,” said Dinu Turcanu, a politician from the opposition party of Ilan Shor. Notably, the politician is also a businessman convicted of fraud in connection with a nearly US$1 billion bank scandal.
Sunday’s protest was one of the largest demonstrations seen in the small ex-Soviet country since Sandu was elected after a landslide victory in 2020 whose campaign reportedly promised to end corruption. Since then she has pledged to make Moldova a member of the European Union (EU) which has provided a large amount of aid to the country in the past.
Moldova buys gas reportedly from the Russian gas giant Gazprom under a contract that was drawn up last year. However, every month the price fluctuates, calculated from the spot price for gas and oil depending on the season, and prices this season have soared. This has caused economic difficulties for the nation of 3.5 million as the price has shot up from 29% in September after surging almost 50% in August.
(With inputs from agencies)