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Moldovan politician and Gagauzia's Governor Evghenia Gutul at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 7, 2024, in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Contributor/Getty Images)
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The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Evghenia Gutul, the governor of Moldova's Gagauzia region, for her ties to pro-Russian oligarch and politician Ilan Shor, the U.S. Treasury announced on June 12.

Shor has been repeatedly accused of trying to destabilize Moldova, which he fled in 2019. He has been under U.S. sanctions since October 2022, as has his pro-Russian political party of the same name.

Gutul was elected governor of Gagauzia, an autonomous territory in southern Moldova that partly borders Ukraine's Odesa Oblast, in July 2023 as a Shor party candidate.

Gutul traveled to Russia in March 2024, where she was pictured shaking hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and attended the St. Petersburg Economic International Economic Forum in early June.

Moldova's Prime Minister Dorin Recean said he was "grateful for the U.S.'s commitment to support us in combating corruption and countering Kremlin interference."

"We'll continue to work with our partners to deny criminals the resources to perpetuate fraud in Moldova and beyond," Recean said.

The sanctions follow reports earlier in June that the former chief of the General Staff of Moldova's army had allegedly been an informant for Russia's military intelligence agency.

Days later, Moldovan President Maia Sandu approved changes to the country's treason laws, allowing some wartime treason laws to apply to peacetime, as well as extending punishments and creating a new category of laws for assisting a foreign state.

Sandu, a pro-European and pro-Ukrainian politician, has been president since 2020 but faces reelection and a referendum on Moldova's accession to the EU in October.

Chisinau has been supportive of Ukraine throughout the full-scale war and cracked down on Russian subversive operations at home, expelling dozens of diplomats and embassy staff in July 2023 after revelations of espionage activities.

G7 agrees on transfer of $50 billion in profits from frozen Russian assets to Ukraine
“We have an agreement,” a French presidency official said, ahead of a summit in Italy, which starts on June 13.

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