The United States is stepping up military cooperation with Moldova as part of a broader effort to push back against Russian aggression in Ukraine. But local enthusiasm for integration with the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization is plummeting.
Widespread public disillusionment with Moldova’s pro-Western government, fueled by officials’ inability to contain rampant corruption, is a major cause for the lost faith in NATO’s security umbrella. Anti-corruption protests now have the government in Chișinău on the defensive.
A survey run by the Washington, DC-based International Republican Institute found that the number of pro-NATO Moldovans dropped from 31 percent of 1,500 respondents in September, 2014, to 19 percent in October last year, one month after anti-corruption protests began. The corruption issue has also dented public approval for Moldova’s efforts to join the European Union.
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The Barometer of Public Opinion in November received support from the Soros Foundation–Moldova, which is part of the Soros foundations network. EurasiaNet operates under the auspices of the Open Society Foundations in New York, a separate entity in the Soros network.