Moldovan president to visit Ukraine for the first time

  Moldovan President Maia Sandu will pay her first state visit to Kiev today to meet with top Ukrainian leadership.

 

Office of the President of Ukraine

Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine

Moldovan President Maia Sandu will pay her first state visit to Kiev today to meet with top Ukrainian leadership.

The visit comes amid a time of political transition in Moldova. In November, Sandu, a former prime minister and leader of the pro-European Action and Solidarity Party, defeated the pro-Russian incumbent, Igor Dodon, to obtain the presidency. Although Russian state media openly supported Dodon’s candidacy, Sandu campaigned in part on improving political and economic relations with Moscow.

As president, expect Sandu to play a balancing game with Moscow. Moldova remains largely economically dependent on Russia, yet Sandu has openly sided with Brussels and Kiev against the Russian military occupation of eastern Ukraine. Moreover, one of Sandu’s major campaign promises was to pressure Moscow to withdraw its peacekeeping forces from Moldova’s bordering breakaway state of Transnistria. Therefore, expect Sandu to cautiously negotiate with Ukrainian leadership today, pledging Moldova’s support of Ukrainian sovereignty while not going as far as to overly antagonise Moscow by calling for more active measures to expel Russian troops from Transnistria.

Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.