Moldova at a Crossroads
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The Russian invasion of Ukraine has placed heavy burdens on the Ukrainian people, as well as on her neighbouring countries. Among these, few have been as affected as Moldova. Landlocked between Ukraine and Romania, this small post-soviet nation faced significant challenges, from aiding the highest per capita number of war refugees in Europe, to facing steep rises in gas prices and severe trade disruptions. Adding to this, Moldova has also had to navigate troubled geopolitical waters, not least given the presence of Russian troops in its separatist territory of Transnistria. Despite all these difficult circumstances, the government of Moldova managed the pursuit of reforms and management of multiple crises.
In this College Tour we welcome the former prime minister of Moldova Natalia Gavrilița. What are the lessons learned from leading Moldova during the first year of the Russo-Ukrainian War? How to shape foreign policy to avoid further escalation with Russia, whilst defending the sovereignty of Ukraine and neighbouring states?
Natalia Gavrilița served as the 15th Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova between August 2021 and February 2023. Gavrilița is the first Deputy Chairwoman of the pro-European Party of Action and Solidarity (PAS) and has had a long history in economics and politics. She served as finance minister from June 2019 to November 2019. Earlier in her career, she was Managing Director at the London-based Global Innovation Fund, a hybrid investment fund supporting social innovation in developing countries. Gavrilița graduated from Moldova State University with a bachelor’s degree in International Law and also earned a master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University.
Franka Hummels is a historian and an alumna of the University of Groningen. After finishing a postgraduate degree in journalism, she worked in London as a correspondent. Back in the Netherlands, she wrote The Generator Generation, Life after Chernobyl (2011). Currently she works as a freelance journalist and editor for several programmes on Dutch national broadcaster Radio 1, several magazines and newspapers. Post-Soviet transition is a recurring theme in her work and she regularly appears in the media as an expert.
Organized in cooperation with SIB Groningen.