Moldova’s recent presidential election (first round held on November 1, second round on November 15) has been widely stereotyped by international media as a geopolitical contest between a democratic West and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. But in fact, that presumption has been disproved by all players, internal and external, in their respective messages about the just-concluded electoral race. Avoidance of geopolitical competition, if nothing else, was their common underlying approach (see Eurasia Daily Monitor, October 28, November 17). Although not declaratively proclaimed as such during the campaign, this approach took official form in response to the outcome.
Mr. Putin, who had practically abandoned incumbent President Igor Dodon ahead of the election, became one of the first international leaders to congratulate Maia Sandu on her victory: “I count on your presidency to make possible a constructive development of our countries’ relations” (Kremlin.ru, November 16).