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EU imposes sanctions on individuals and organizations for destabilizing Moldova

EU imposes sanctions on individuals and organizations for destabilizing Moldova Illustrative photo: The EU has imposed sanctions against individuals and organizations for actions aimed at destabilization in Moldova (Getty Images)

The Council of the European Union has imposed sanctions on six individuals and one militarized organization due to actions aimed at destabilizing, undermining, or posing a threat to the sovereignty and independence of Moldova, according to the European Council.

The corresponding restrictive measures were introduced today, on February 22.

The release notes that Moldova is one of the countries that "most affected by the fallout of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine," and serious attempts to destabilize the country have become more frequent.

Who is subject to sanctions

According to the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, the EU Council imposes sanctions on the militarized organization: the Association of People with Epaulets Scutul Poporului, which "has made repeated attempts to undermine Moldova’s democratic government including through inciting riots and violent demonstrations, as well as its leader."

Among the individuals targeted by restrictive measures is the Deputy Head of the Department of Operational Intelligence of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation, responsible for the Kremlin's covert operations in Moldova, particularly in the Transnistrian region since 2016.

Additionally, the Council imposes sanctions on the heads of media trusts that own multiple media channels in the country and "frequently promote messages aimed at obstructing and undermining the democratic political process."

"The list also includes other individuals engaged in the dissemination of disinformation and inciting violence and fear, or linked to the Bank Fraud case," according to the EU Council's statement.

What restrictive measures entail

Individuals and organizations subject to current sanctions are subject to asset freezes. Citizens and companies of the EU are prohibited from providing funds to them.

In addition, six individuals are subject to entry and transit bans through the EU territory.

EU sanctions for destabilizing Moldova

On May 30, 2023, the Euro Council approved sanctions against individuals who undermine or threaten the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Moldova, or democracy, the rule of law, stability, or security in the country.

Moldovan oligarchs-fugitives Vladimir Plahotnyuk and Ilan Shor, as well as pro-Russian party Shor deputy Marina Tauber, are already under restrictions.

Last summer, neutral Switzerland also joined these sanctions.