U.S. targets Moldovans, Russians for sanctions over alleged political interference in Moldova

Sursa: Facebook

The United States has targeted nine individuals and 12 entities for sanctions over what the U.S. Treasury Department said was „systemic corruption” in Moldova and their efforts to influence elections and subvert democracy.

The individuals and entities designated for sanctions include two Moldovan oligarchs who are already widely recognized for corrupting Moldova’s political and economic institutions, the Treasury Department said in a statement on  Oct. 26.

The sanctions also target individuals and entities who acted as „instruments of Russia’s global influence campaign,” which the department said seeks to manipulate the United States and its allies and partners, including Moldova and Ukraine.

Those designated by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) include the oligarch and former lawmaker Vladimir Plahotniuc, who the U.S. says exerted control over and manipulated key sectors of Moldova’s government.

Plahotniuc, a former Moldovan lawmaker who has been linked to the disappearance of $1 billion from Moldovan banks in 2014, maintained control over the country’s law enforcement apparatus to target political and business rivals, according to the Treasury Department.

Plahotniuc, who fled the country in 2019, also used Moldovan government officials as intermediaries to bribe law enforcement officials, used his control of the judicial system to manipulate the June 2018 mayoral election in Chisinau, the department said.

The U.S. State Department has banned Plahotniuc and his family from obtaining visas to enter the United States.

Another individual sanctioned is wealthy populist leader Ilan Shor, who the Treasury Department said worked with Russians before the 2021 Moldovan elections to create a political alliance aimed at controlling Moldova’s parliament and supporting legislation favorable to Russia.

Shor’s supporters staged a protest in Chisinau last week to denounce Moldova’s pro-Western leaders. He was also convicted of fraud in 2017 in connection with the disappearance of the $1 billion. He lives in Israel.

The department said that, as of June 2022, Shor had received Russian support and the Shor Party was coordinating with representatives of other oligarchs to create political unrest in Moldova. Shor also worked with Moscow-based entities to undermine Moldova’s bid to join the European Union, according to the department.

His wife, Russian pop singer Sara Lvovna Shor, was also designated.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here