The outcome of Moldova’s first round of the presidential elections shows that society has many questions to ask about the country’s foreign policy course, head of Russia’s Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Committee for International Affairs Konstantin Kosachev wrote in a post on his Facebook page. According to him, the public is beginning to abandon the illusion that giving preference to closer ties with the West over cooperation with Russia can be beneficial.
On Sunday, the first round of presidential elections was conducted in Moldova, with the Socialist party leader Igor Dodon, who stands for integration with Russia, chalking up 48.23% of the vote. His main rival, pro-Western candidate Maia Sandu received 38.42%. The run-off of the first direct presidential elections held since 1996 is scheduled for November 13.
The results show that Moldova’s citizens have a lot of questions to ask not only about domestic but foreign policy as well, the Russian senator said. At the same time, he noted that “another former Soviet state is choosing foreign policy priorities”, while this process “seems even more decisive than two years ago” given the increased confrontation between Russia and the West.
“Dodon got the majority of votes in the first round, it shows that people are rejecting the illusions of the past that the reliance on the West while brushing aside Russia guarantees an immediate favorable result,” Kosachev said adding that the citizens of Moldova can see “the bad example set by Ukraine” of what the consequences of imposing the Western ways can be.
It is too early to say that Moldova has changed its guidelines, the Russian senator noted. In his opinion, during the second round “the propaganda machine” will call on the people to choose “‘democracy over authoritarianism’, ‘Europe over Asia’ and so forth. However, the common people in Moldova see what benefits relations with Russia can bring so the calls to ‘vote against their own benefits but in favor of ideological delusions’ “have been proving less effective,” Kosachev said.