ua en ru

Russia attempts to sow discord in Moldova again: ISW reveals details

Russia attempts to sow discord in Moldova again: ISW reveals details Photo: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (kremlin ru)

Russia is once again attempting to destabilize Moldova to create discord, with the Kremlin's aim to divert international attention from the ongoing war in Ukraine, reports the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).

Analysts highlight that on November 30, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov issued a threat to Moldova, suggesting a "repetition of the fate of Ukraine." Lavrov claimed that the West aims to involve Moldova in the so-called "hybrid war" against the Kremlin.

"Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s November 30 threat against Moldova may have emboldened certain pro-Russian actors to attempt to sow political instability and division in Moldova", the ISW report states.

Following Lavrov's remarks, the pro-Russian leader of Moldova's Gagauzia region, Yevgenia Gutsul, accused Moldovagaz of obstructing gas supply from the Turkish supplier, a collaboration arranged by the regional government beyond state contracts.

Gutsul alleges that Moldovagaz sells gas at a higher price than the Turkish supplier. In response, Vadim Ceban, the head of Moldovagaz, refuted the claim, asserting the company lacks the capacity to impede gas supply to Gagauzia, as it did not receive the necessary documentation for a supplier switch.

ISW points out that on November 13, Moldova's President, Maia Sandu, rejected Gutsul's bid for a ministerial position due to her affiliation with the banned pro-Russian party Shor.

"Russia conducted a likely campaign to destabilize Moldova in early 2023, and Russia may seek to revamp these efforts to distract international attention from the war in Ukraine," analysts suggest.

Russian Federation's influence on Moldova

Recall that the pro-Russian party Shor in Moldova previously orchestrated protests to topple the current government and sought the impeachment of President Maia Sandu. In June 2023, the Constitutional Court of Moldova banned the activities of Shor.

Furthermore, Moldova's President, Maia Sandu, accused Russia of bribing voters in the local elections held in November.

Chisinau has also taken steps to counter Russian propaganda, blocking access to 22 propaganda TV channels from the Russian Federation in October 2023.