The new political cycle in Washington and Chisinau provides for a great opportunity to upgrade US-Moldova relations
Considering the start of a new political cycle both in Washington and Chisinau, time is ripe for a major upgrade in US-Moldova relations. But partnerships are truly sustainable if they are a two-way street. Moldova can, of course, continue being a major beneficiary of US support, but it is important for it to bring more to this bilateral partnership as well.
This is one of the main conclusions of a new IPRE policy brief prepared by Nicu Popescu, director of the Enlarged Europe program at the Paris office of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) and Cristina Gherasimov, research fellow at the Robert Bosch Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia (DGAP, Berlin). The policy brief assesses the current state of play and opportunities of the US-Moldova relations and suggests a set of key recommendations on how to reinvigorate the bilateral partnership in the next years.
The authors consider that an upgraded US-Moldova partnership could rely on even stronger US support for the rule of law and anti-corruption efforts: the fight against money laundering, investigations of financial crimes, recovery of stolen assets, and reform the justice sector. The US and Moldova should deepen their cooperation in the field of security by seeking ways to intensify institutional partnerships between their respective security sectors on several policy fronts such as cyber security, defense cooperation and intelligence matters. Continued support for civil society and independent media, not least through medium and long-term institutional funding, will play a key role in defining the extent of success of reforms in the following years. Should Moldovan authorities be able to pursue several years of sustained anti-corruption reforms it is important for both parties to look into ways to open the possibility for Moldova to benefit from a second Millennium Challenge Corporation program.
But all of the above will only be sustainable if Moldova also plays its part in the bilateral partnership with the US. A truly efficient US-Moldova partnership will depend on Moldova’s ability to contribute either through increased peacekeeping contributions to UN-mandated operations, intensified cooperation or better coordination on addressing global challenges.
For more details on the Policy Brief published today by IPRE here.