Maia Sandu, the President of Moldova, has accused Russia as being engaged in a plot to use foreign “saboteurs with military background, camouflaged in civilian clothes, to undertake violent actions, attacks on state institutions and taking hostages” to overthrow her pro-EU government. According to President Sandu, the Russian-backed plot would see protests in Moldova by the “so-called opposition” with the aim of overthrowing the constitutional order of the country.
The announcement by the President of Moldova would appear to support the announcement last week by Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, who had stated that his country’s intelligence service had uncovered evidence that Russia was planning to destroy Moldova. Indeed, the President of Ukraine alleged that the document showed who, when, and how Russia would act to break Moldova’s democracy and to assert its own control over the country.
As result of this threat from Russia, President Sandu has urged the Parliament of Moldova to act to adopt laws that would give the intelligence, security services, and prosecutors of the country greater means with which to act against national security threats. For their part, the Moldovan Intelligence and Security Service confirmed the information was received, but was not able to go into greater detail as such would risk jeopardizing ongoing operations it was engaged in.
This is but the latest way in which Russia has acted to harm the Moldova. Dependent on Russia for natural gas, the war in Ukraine which has extensively damaged the energy infrastructure there has led to significant power cuts in Moldova this past year. In addition, the existence of the statelet of Transnistria, which Russia provides subsidies for gas for while billing Moldova as well as provides security assistance to, has been used as a bargaining chip in the past against Moldova as well. Given the actions of Russia in Moldova, and rhetoric coming out of Russia indicating potential threats to other European states like Poland, Ukraine and its allies in Europe should be concerned that Moscow might take additional future actions to expand the violence and chaos beyond the current bounds of the war.
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