Promoting democracy in the six post-Soviet countries in Eastern Europe that were designated by the European Union as deserving special attention will require the EU to offer incentives for implementing reforms.
Although U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden’s visit to Moldova can do much to highlight the country’s potential and to support progress already under way, the solutions to the country's lingering problems will depend on political will and creative thinking from Chisinau.
The unsettled political situation in Moldova could hamper further negotiations over the country's accession to the EU, economic reform, and resolution of the enduring separatist conflict in Transdniester.
Given Moldova’s economic potential and political openness, the United States, the European Union, and Russia can play a significant role in aiding Moldova on the path to EU membership and helping to transform the country into a prosperous pluralistic democratic state.
Resolving the conflict over Moldova’s breakaway region of Transdnestr would have wide-reaching positive implications for Russia, the EU, and the United States, but this opportunity will be lost if the issue is not addressed in the near future.