Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Not Waiting Their Turn

Romania is taking steps to avoid being next on Putin's dance card.

Once part of Romania, Moldova is warily taking help from Romania in order to keep the Russian-supported enclave of Transdniestria from being the staging area for more Russian aggression.

The latest help is a Romanian ambulance service inside Moldova:

Wary of Russian intentions after Ukraine lost control of Crimea and much of its east to Russian-backed forces last year, Romania is trying to bring Moldova toward the European Union.

Its sweeteners, the ambulances, as well as offers of cheaper gas supplies and closer trade ties, have been warmly welcomed by impoverished Moldova's two-month-old pro-European government.

Some locals are wary of Romania's intentions, but many are grateful in this corner of Moldova, where villagers trudge along muddy, unpaved roads and western cars like the red, Volkswagen ambulances are novel enough to win salutes from their children.

That won't stop Russia from pretending that locals are eagerly hoping for salvation if Putin decides to move on Moldova. But it will help make it obviously a sham.