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Moldovan President Sandu announces she will run for second term

by Nate Ostiller December 25, 2023 1:59 PM 2 min read
Moldovan President Maia Sandu casts her ballot in local elections in the capital, Chisinau, on Nov. 5, 2023. (Elena Covalenco / AFP via Getty Images)
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Moldovan President Maia Sandu announced on Dec. 24 that she is planning to run for another term in office, according to an official statement by the president's office.

Sandu, a pro-European politician elected president in 2020, has condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine and sought to remove Moldova from Russia's sphere of influence. The European Council officially approved Moldova and Ukraine to begin talks on their accession to the EU on Dec. 14.

In the statement declaring her intent to run for reelection, Sandu also said that she has asked the Moldovan parliament to organize a referendum on the country's accession to the EU next fall.

"During the three years of our mandate, we managed to maintain peace at home, strengthen the independence of the country, we have a government together with the people, and we began negotiations on Moldova’s accession to the European Union," said Sandu.

"We still have many important steps to take, and I am ready to continue if you have the confidence to receive a new mandate in 2024."

As Moldova has shifted toward the Europian Union under Sandu's leadership, Russia has continued to put pressure on the country.

Sandu said that Russia, with the direct support of the late Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner mercenary group, tried to foment a coup against the Moldovan government in February 2023.

Russia has also funneled a significant amount of money into the country in an attempt to influence elections, she said.

In addition, Russia has wielded a variety of tools against Moldova, including weaponizing energy supplies, cyber attacks, and directly threatening the country with unrest from the Russian-controlled region of Moldova, Transnistria.

Moldova has sought to combat Russian influence and pressure against the country, banning Russian-affiliated political parties like the U.S.-sanctioned Shor party, outlawing the rebroadcast of Russian state-run television news, and blocking access to Russian media sites.

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Editor’s note: This story is a collaboration between the Kyiv Independent and media partners, including Delfi Meedia (Estonia), Expressen (Sweden), Dossier Center (U.K.), Rise Moldova, Frontstory, VSquare (Poland), Süddeutsche Zeitung, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Rundfunk WDR, Norddeutscher Rundfunk (Ge…

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