Moldova President Claims Russia to Overthrow Government

Moldova’s President Maia Sandu has claimed that Moscow is planning to overthrow her country’s government. In a recent briefing, she outlined a plot by Russia to use external saboteurs to destroy Moldova, put the nation “at the disposal of Russia” and stop its aspirations to join the European Union. The President’s claims come a week after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country had intercepted plans by Russian secret services to destroy Moldova, which were later confirmed by Moldovan intelligence officials.

President Sandu says that the plan involves actions with the involvement of military-trained saboteurs who will carry out violent actions and attack state buildings, potentially even taking hostages. The purpose of these actions is to overthrow the constitutional order and install an illegitimate power in Chisinau, which would put Moldova at the disposal of Russia. Despite the claims, Sandu defiantly vowed that the Kremlin’s attempts to bring violence to Moldova will not succeed.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Moldova has sought to forge closer ties with its Western partners and was granted European Union candidate status last June, the same day as Ukraine. Over the past year, Moldova has faced numerous challenges, including a severe energy crisis, skyrocketing inflation, and several incidents involving missiles and debris.

President Sandu says that Russia wants to use Moldova in the war against Ukraine, but provides no further details. Intelligence obtained by Moldovan services reportedly contains instructions on entry rules to Moldova for citizens from Russia, Belarus, Serbia, and Montenegro. Sandu assures the public that state institutions are working to prevent these challenges and keep the situation under control.

The President also calls for the adoption of draft laws by the Parliament to equip the Intelligence and Security Service and the prosecutor’s office with the necessary tools to combat the security risks facing the country. The plan, according to Sandu, will rely on internal forces and criminal groups, including two exiled Moldovan oligarchs, Ilan Shor and Vladimir Plahotniuc, both of whom were sanctioned by the US and the UK last year.

Sandu’s press briefing comes after the resignation of Moldova’s Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita and the appointment of pro-Western economist Dorin Recean as her successor. The US State Department also recently spoke out, stating that “Russia has for years supported influence and destabilization campaigns in Moldova, which often involve weaponizing corruption to further its goals.”