Moldova goes to the polls on Sunday in an election being seen as a choice between continuing its path of closer integration with Europe or back tracking to join a Russian-led economic bloc.
Once part of the former Soviet Union, Moldova is one of the poorest and smallest countries in Europe, one thing many people are united on is the feeling that nothing is being done to combat corruption.
“Promises were made that corruption will be diminished significantly, but nothing happened”, said Arcadie Barbarosie, Executive Director of the Institute for Public Policy. “That’s why in the public opinion polls these pro-European parties have such a low level of support….that’s why institutions have such a low level of trust”.
Corruption aside, Moldova looks to the East and West for its economic existence, and some think it should take help wherever it can get it.
“In terms of vectors it is good for us to focus on the west side, but we need help from the East and the West, so we need a balance”, said the General Manager of the information society Remsys, Constantin Garcev.
For younger people who have grown up in a country drifting closer to Europe it is a difficult choice, but for some, like Cristina, it is better to go forward than back:
“Dostoevsky says that between the greater and the lesser evil you have to choose the lesser. For now we don’t have a better choice, a better party, so we have to choose what we have”.
Moldovans are also conscious that hanging over this election is the spectre of their neighbour Ukraine, and the conflict there triggered in part by turning its back on Russia in favour of Europe.