Last month’s parliamentary elections were an important milestone in Moldova’s democratic development and allowed Moldovans to make their voices heard. Now that the elections are over and parliament is in session, the truly hard work must be done: forming a government that will improve the lives of every Moldovan citizen. The United States stands ready to partner with whatever government is formed to do just that.
Over the next four years, Moldova’s newly elected leaders face an important choice: will they work together for the common good and fulfill their promises or will they defy public trust to pursue private interests and advancement?
In order to address key issues facing the country and engage with international partners, Moldova must have a credible government with a fully functioning parliament. Therefore, we urge the government formation process to be as transparent as possible. In addition, all parties should focus on the public good and work to build trust with the Moldovan people and the country’s international partners.
Moldovans deserve leaders committed to working for the people who elected them and improving economic opportunity for all. The United States looks forward to working with those committed to helping the Moldovan people build a brighter, more prosperous future.
I have been clear that the United States has two key priorities for U.S.-Moldovan bilateral relations. The first is to promote the development of strong government institutions – including stronger anti-corruption mechanisms and a more independent judiciary – that work for the Moldovan people. The second is to strengthen Moldova’s sovereignty and independence and allow it to pursue its chosen European path, while maintaining constructive relations with its neighbors.
I think all Moldovans know that their country cannot reach its true potential without serious reform, beginning with stamping out corruption. Corruption deters foreign investment and entrepreneurship, prevents the creation of new jobs, and pushes talented young people to seek greater opportunity abroad. Establishing institutions like the National Anti-Corruption Center, the Criminal Asset Recovery Agency, the National Integrity Authority, and the Anti-Corruption Prosecution Office are important steps, but they need the funding, staffing, and independence to fully carry out their their mission.
Serious anti-corruption reforms are impossible without a strong, independent judiciary that will investigate, prosecute, and punish those who break the law, regardless of their wealth and power. Moldovans deserve courts that treat all citizens equally under the law. This means the Moldovan authorities should build on the relatively transparent judicial selection and training process by more aggressively disciplining and removing the corrupt judges and prosecutors. The judiciary is no place for those with questionable integrity or flawed professional ethics.
Impartial rule of law for all citizens creates an environment in which we can partner with the next government and civil society to focus on key social and economic issues that affect all Moldovans – including investing in education, infrastructure, and solid, sustainable opportunities for employment.
Independent, democratic institutions will support economic growth and investment and bolster Moldova’s resilience against those who would seek to undermine its sovereignty. A recommitment to Western values will also promote an independent, free, and open society where people are encouraged to speak their minds, hold their elected officials accountable, and take control of their future.
The United States supports Moldova’s right to choose its own path. I believe the best way to create the conditions for a better future for all Moldovans is to strengthen Moldova’s relations with the United States and Europe. As such, we will seek to expand U.S.-Moldova economic ties. We will also continue to support Moldova’s efforts to find new trade and investment partners and develop the capacity of farmers and businesses to compete in international markets.
Following years of bank scandals, the Moldovan people know the importance of cleaning up the financial sector. We urge the next government to demonstrate its commitment to advancing these reforms by taking the necessary actions to restart its IMF and World Bank credit programs, in addition to regaining access to the EU Macro Financial Assistance. These programs send a signal to international investors that Moldova is headed down the right path, and more foreign investment will create more jobs right here at home.
We also look forward to partnering with Moldova to develop the capacity to safeguard its internationally recognized borders and defend itself from modern threats by bolstering cybersecurity defenses and tightening scrutiny on foreign companies seeking influence over critical infrastructure. We want to help Moldova diversify its routes and sources of energy; building the Ungheni-Chisinau pipeline and back-to-back electricity stations to connect Moldova to Romanian gas and electricity are crucial next steps.
Our relationship with Moldova goes beyond ties between governments—it is also about the strength of connections between our citizens. I am committed to expanding people-to-people contacts that help build mutual understanding between the United States and Moldova. From exchange and cultural outreach programs to our speaker series and tourism promotion, we will continue to bring Moldovans and Americans together.
The United States stands with the Moldovan people. We call on the newly elected officials to choose the common good over self-interest. I am confident that with political will, public engagement, and support from international partners, Moldovans can construct the bright, prosperous future their country deserves.
Dereck J. Hogan
U.S. Ambassador to Moldova