SIS Reports Moscow’s Attempts to Impact on Moldova’s Upcoming Elections and EU Accession

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Chisinau has received data indicating an unprecedented level of intensity of Russia’s actions to interfere in the processes in Moldova. The aim of these actions is “to jeopardize Moldova’s accession to the European Union, take democratic processes over and keep Chisinau under its influence”. This was stated on 5 March by the head of the Security and Intelligence Service (SIS), Alexandru Musteata, at a press conference on “Assessment of the Russian Federation’s interference in the electoral processes in Moldova in 2024-2025”. According to Musteata, the first stage started in 2023, when attempts were made to compromise local elections, and now the next two stages are being attempted. “They intend to interfere in this year’s electoral processes. We have information that they are trying to implement attempts to compromise the referendum on European integration, interfere in the presidential election, as well as denigrate institutions and political candidates who will be in favor of EU membership,” Musteata said. The next phase is scheduled for 2025 and aims to “control the Moldovan parliament by bringing political parties influenced by the Russian Federation into the legislature”. “The available details point to a strategy for 2024 and 2025 that will include three main interrelated elements. The first is support for entities under the direct or indirect control of the Russian Federation, categorized into three groups. Once in parliament, they must serve the interests of a foreign state - the Russian Federation. These are political figures openly declaring their pro-Russian orientation with direct and confirmed links to the intelligence services. Political consultants, organized criminal groups, the Kremlin leadership and oligarchic groups, as well as official political figures – ‘pro-statehood’ supporters, who intend to cover themselves with a neutral foreign policy, claiming to protect national interests, neutrality and statehood, but in fact their goal is to serve the interests of Russia,” the representative of the intelligence service said. The SIS head claims that some of these “actors” have direct ties with Russian officials, while others are related to organized criminal groups led by Moldovan nationals on the international wanted list.