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Bloomberg: Moldova's pro-Russian opposition parties establish anti-European bloc ahead of elections

by Dmytro Basmat April 22, 2024 4:25 AM 2 min read
The flag of the Republic of Moldova (l) hangs next to the flag of the European Union on Oct. 22, 2023 in Chisinau, Moldova. (Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images)
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Members of Moldova's pro-Russian opposition parties met in Moscow on April 21 to establish a new anti-European political bloc aimed at derailing Moldova's planned accession to the European Union, Bloomberg reported.

The newly-established bloc, dubbed "Victory," met with Moldovan politician and oligarch Ilan Shor to strategize a challenge to President Maia Sandu and her pro-European government in upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.

Shor is currently evading arrest in Moscow on charges of money laundering and embezzlement in relation to the alleged 2014 theft of $1 billion from Moldovan banks - in which Shor allegedly masterminded a scam affecting the country's banking system. Shor faces up to 15 years in prison.

Andrei Spinu, Moldova's minister of infrastructure and regional development, railed against the newly-formed bloc's attempts to influence the upcoming Oct. 20 presidential election.

“A whole country saw the traitors of the country in Moscow,” Spinu said. “They were created in Moscow, near the Kremlin, to make it clear who they work for and who they serve.”

Tensions between Moscow and Chisinau have been mounting since February 2022 amid fears that the war may spill into Moldova via Transnistria, a Moldovan territory occupied by Russian troops since the early 1990s.

Moldovan officials have previously warned of Russia's attempts to influence Moldovan election, and have repeatedly accused Russia of destabilization attempts.

Alexandru Musteata, the head of the Moldovan intelligence agency (SIS), has warned that SIS possesses "certain information" about Russia's destabilization campaign in the next two years designed to compromise Chisinau's European integration and draw the country back into the Kremlin's orbit.

The SIS chief also warned about Russia manufacturing "socio-political crises" and "social clashes" to "incite inter-ethnic hatred" in relation to Transnistria and the autonomous region of Gagauzia. The pro-Russian opposition parties have also been accused by officials of being a source of anti-EU disinformation.

Current President Maia Sandu will run for re-election after she put the country on a decisively pro-EU course, helping to secure Chisinau's membership candidacy and accession talks. Alongside the presidential election, a referendum is set to be voted on as the country's leadership attempts to usher through pro-EU constitutional amendments.

Moldova's parliamentary elections are also scheduled to be held in the summer of 2025.

US official: US deepening cooperation with Moldova amid potential threats from Russia
The U.S. is deepening cooperation with the Moldovan government amid potential threats from Russia to undermine its stability, Ned Price, deputy to the U.S. representative to the U.N., told a Kyiv Independent reporter on April 11.



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