© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister of Moldova Natalia Gavrilita speaks in the Treaty Room at the State Department, before a meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2022. Manuel Balce Ceneta/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo
CHISINAU (Reuters) – Moldova’s prime minister proposed senior parliamentarian Dumitru Alaiba as economy minister on Wednesday as the country tries to deal with the impact of the war in Ukraine and rising food and energy prices.
Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita told a government meeting that Alaiba, who chairs parliament’s economy, budget and finance committee, would replace Sergiu Gaibu and would help promote government policy better.
“The personnel changes are aimed at better managing the economy and better trade, which will allow the government programme to be carried out,” she said.
Alaiba’s appointment requires the approval of President Maia Sandu.
Moldova’s pro-Western government has resisted calls to resign by protesters who have staged demonstrations over steep price increases, particularly for gas bought from Russia.
The tiny former Soviet republic, which lies between Ukraine and Romania, expects zero economic growth this year and inflation of more than 28%. Last year the economy grew by almost 14%.
Problems have been compounded by the war in Ukraine, and thousands of Ukrainian refugees have arrived in the country since Russia invaded its neighbour on Feb. 24.