Moldova: official asks Russia to keep out of local politics

February 9, 2018

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — A top Moldovan official on Friday accused Russia of meddling in domestic politics in an election year and called on Moscow to respect the former Soviet republic.

Parliamentary speaker Andrian Candu told The Associated Press that pro-European officials fear Russian interference will escalate ahead of parliamentary elections this fall.

Parliament adopted a declaration Thursday condemning alleged Russian attacks on cybersecurity and accusing the Russian secret services of financing Moldovan political parties. Pro-Russian lawmakers walked out of the session.

Pro-Russian President Igor Dodon called the declaration “the most impulsive anti-Russian message” in the past 25 years.

In January, Moldova’s parliament passed a law that effectively bans the rebroadcasting of Russian news, military or political programs.

Candu said Moldova would collaborate with Russia “based on mutual respect... not from a dominant state to a dominated state.”

The developments are the latest friction between Moldova and Russia. Last year, Moldova accused Russia’s intelligence service of intimidating 25 pro-European politicians and other officials, amid an ongoing probe into a $22 billion money laundering case involving money sent from Russia to the private Moldinconbank.

Bilateral relations began to deteriorate after Moldova signed an association agreement with the European Union in 2014. Russia then placed an embargo on Moldovan wine, fruit and vegetables.

Update hourly