The government’s collapse comes just days after Gavrilita met with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels in order to discuss Moldova’s EU membership.
Moldovan President Maia Sandu has nominated defense adviser Dorin Recean to become the country's prime minister following the resignation of the previous government under Natalia Gavrilita.
Dorin Recean previously served as interior minister between 2012 and 2015. He will have 15 days to form a new government to present to Parliament for a confidence vote.
Maia Sandu's Party of Action and Solidarity, or PAS, holds a comfortable majority in parliament.
Recean is a staunch EU supporter and said he plans to continue to pursue membership of Moldova into the 27-nation bloc.
Moldova’s government collapsed Friday as pro-Western Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita resigned after 18 months in power, a period marked by economic turmoil and tensions sparked by the war in Ukraine.
Gavrilita told a news conference that the “time has come for me to announce my resignation” and said no one expected her government, elected in the summer of 2021, “would have to manage so many crises caused by Russian aggression in Ukraine.”
A long string of problems marked Gavrilita’s premiership. The country of 2.5 million has suffered from soaring inflation and was strained last year by an influx of Ukrainian refugees.
It has also struggled to move away from Russian gas and has dealt with power cuts caused by air strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Moldova neighbours Ukraine, and its energy system is interconnected with it.
Moldova has also dealt with missiles from the war in Ukraine crossing its skies.
On Friday morning, two Russian cruise missiles flew over Moldova's airspace before entering Ukraine, according to Kyiv’s military chief, after it was fired from the Black Sea.
Moldovan authorities corroborated the Ukrainian statement and summoned the Russian ambassador to protest "against the unacceptable violation of our airspace by a Russian missile," according to a statement.
After Gavrilita resigned, Moldovan President Maia Sandu thanked her for her “enormous sacrifice and efforts to lead the country in a time of so many crises."
“Despite unprecedented challenges, the country was governed responsibly, with great care and dedicated work,” Sandu said. “We have stability, peace and development — where others wanted war and bankruptcy.”
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