Chisinau aims to avoid blackouts, bring down electricity prices and improve relations with Russia-backed separatists in Transnistria with latest move.
Former president remains in a detention that one of his lawyers has called a "death sentence".
Poll reveals Moldovans' unhappiness amid rampant inflation and economic hardship brought on by the war in Ukraine.
Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu takes care not to provoke Russia, despite Nato promises of support for Moldova.
Energy crisis in Moldova continues as Gazprom refuses to increase deliveries, accusing Chisinau of "frequent payment breaches".
Multiple uncertainties related to the war in Ukraine, inflation, energy supply and the prospects of EU accession have created frustration among Moldova's population.
When their country was plunged into darkness, Moldovans joined Ukrainians in tweeting their defiance of Russia with the hashtag #withoutyou.
The contraction in Ukraine’s GDP will be among the worst 10-20% of those in conflicts in the last 200 years, the development bank predicts in its 2022/23 Transition Report.
Development bank recommends countries should now gradually dial down help to vulnerable companies, so they can either learn to adapt to the new climate of higher interest rates or exit the market by going into insolvency.
Moldova's economy has been damaged by the war in neighbouring Ukraine and the energy crisis.
Moldova’s trade balance came under strong pressure from high energy prices and the poor harvest.
Weekly mass protests and the ‘Moldova Leaks’ scandal have put the government under pressure. Its response risks undermining its reformist credentials.
Moldova is in the front line this winter as Russia's attack on Ukraine spills over to undermine the republic's energy security.
Russia relentlessly launched 100 missiles at 11 Ukrainian regions on the afternoon of November 15, just days after the war-torn country celebrated the liberation of Kherson.
Electricity supplies were cut off across much of Moldova after a power line that supplies the country was disconnected.
Chisinau estimates the energy crisis will cost Moldova around €1bn this year.
Starved of gas by Gazprom, Moldova and breakaway Transnistria are competing for scarce energy resources — raising tensions between Chisinau and the separatist authorities.
Moldova has failed to sign a contract with MoldGRES in separatist Transnistria, leaving the country short of power and facing blackouts.
Plahotniuc's return coincides with anti-government rallies and a deterioration of public sentiment in Moldova, driven by economic hardship.
Fugitive politicians Vlad Plahotniuc and Ilan Shor among those sanctioned by the US.