The EU’s policy of non-recognition and engagement in the South Caucasus has been modestly successful and may offer useful lessons for other parts of Eastern Europe.
A recent decision by the OSCE to revive arms-control talks is unlikely to achieve much without simultaneous efforts to resolve protracted conflicts in Eastern Europe.
Despite their appealing promises, oligarchs do not offer a viable form of governance in countries such as Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.
Moldova’s election of a pro-Russian president may be symbolically important but is unlikely to assuage the conflict in the country’s breakaway region of Transdniestria.
A prerequisite to building an effective anticorruption approach is an intimate—and unflinching—examination of the specifics of corrupt operations in the individual country of interest and its physical and electronic neighborhoods.
The recent deal sealed with Russia over Transnistria is an example of the EU at its best, operating as a technocratic normative actor and letting trade lead geopolitics.
To the EU’s detriment, its policy toward its Eastern neighbors is neither creating an arc of stability nor encouraging democracy.
Twenty-five years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, all of the countries of Eurasia remain in the midst of difficult transitions and face unpredictable futures.
In the last five years, Moldova has gone from success story to captured state. Any EU support for the country should be linked to the fight against corruption.
Fighting corruption in Moldova requires the government to address widespread conflicts of interest, increase transparency, and separate state functions from oligarchs’ interests.