US, UK, and Canada Accuse Russia of Interference in Moldova's Elections

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jun.14 - 2024 1:33 PM CET

The US, UK, and Canada have jointly accused Russia of meddling in Moldova's upcoming elections.

Trending Now

On Thursday, the US, UK, and Canada issued a joint statement accusing Russia of engaging in "subversive activity and electoral interference" in Moldova.

The accusations come as Moldova prepares for a presidential election and a referendum on potential EU membership later this year.

Allegations of Manipulation

The three countries claim that Russia is using "disinformation and propaganda" to sway public opinion against Moldova's pro-Western President Maia Sandu.

They also assert that Russia is preparing to incite protests if a pro-Russian candidate does not win in the October presidential election.

Furthermore, the statement accuses Russia of employing criminal groups to finance political activities and disrupt Moldova’s democratic institutions.

Russian state broadcaster RT is also accused of supporting pro-Russian Moldovan oligarch Ilan Shor, who was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison for money laundering in 2014 and sanctioned by the US in 2022 for his role in creating political unrest in Moldova.

Support for Moldova's Democracy

The US, UK, and Canada expressed their commitment to helping the Moldovan government investigate and counteract the Kremlin’s alleged plans.

They vowed to continue imposing sanctions on individuals and entities attempting to destabilize Moldova’s democratic institutions.

Moldovan Prime Minister Dorin Recean took to the platform X to express his gratitude for the international support, tweeting that the Kremlin’s "attempts to undermine Moldova's sovereignty and incite unrest" would not succeed.

Historical Context

Russia has a history of interference in Moldova, particularly through its support for the unrecognized pro-Russian government in the breakaway region of Transnistria.

In February 2023, President Sandu revealed Moscow's plot to instigate a coup to install a pro-Kremlin government across Moldova.

An opinion poll by the International Republican Institute (IRI) in mid-2023 found that 63% of Moldovans support joining the EU, although this survey did not include residents of Transnistria, which is predominantly pro-Russian and houses about a fifth of Moldova’s population.