Last month, in Moldova (as the locals prefer the country to be called, as Moldova is of Russian origin) thousands of protesters they had gathered outside the presidential palace demanding the resignation of the pro-Western leader. Behind the organization was Ilan Shor, who immediately received the endorsement of Flywho called him “a worthy long-term partner” and even offered the party-led region of Moldova Shor a deal on cheap Russian gas. Referred to as “the young man” by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), 35-year-old Shor is a leading figure in the Kremlin’s efforts to subvert the former Soviet republic, intelligence documents and interviews with Moldovan, Ukrainian and Western officials show. cited by Washington Post.
THE papers – part of a collection of sensitive materials obtained by Ukrainian intelligence and examined by the WP – illustrate how Moscow continues to try to manipulate Eastern European countries even as its military campaign in Ukraine falters. The FSB has funneled tens of millions of dollars from some of Russia’s largest state-owned companies to nurture a network of Moldovan politicians and redirect the country towards Fly.
The US Treasury on Wednesday imposed sanctions on multiple Russian or Moldovan organizations and individuals, including Shor, saying it was “coordinating with representatives of other oligarchs to create political unrest in Moldova” and that it had “received Russian support”. as well as working in June “with Moscow-based entities to undermine” Moldova’s candidacy to join the European Union. Moscow has long supported a separatist enclave within the borders of Moldova, occupied by Russian troops, and the conflict has held back Moldova’s efforts to integrate with Western Europe.
Ukraine’s fears of an invasion
In the first months of the war in Ukraine, the government of the Moldova he feared that Russian tanks would cross his border, especially if the port of Odessa, in southern Ukraine, 40 miles away, had fallen. That immediate military threat has subsided, but tension is mounting over the use of natural gas – as well as the fallout from Russian air strikes on energy infrastructure in neighboring Ukraine – to force a change in political leadership.
The management control of two main pro-Russian TV channels of Moldova was transferred to a close associate of Shor in late September, providing him with an important platform to push forward a Moscow-aligned agenda. Furthermore, according to the interceptions, the FSB has sent a team of Russian political strategists to advise Shor’s party. And, according to the documents, the FSB oversaw a deal in which a Russian oligarch acquired one of Shor’s main assets, to protect it from the Moldovan authorities.
So Moscow can try to subvert the Moldovan government
Moldovan and US officials fear that the efforts of the Kremlin to subvert Moldova, part of a campaign dating back decades, could only escalate if it suffers further losses in Ukraine. “Recently, as Russia faces military setbacks and global outrage over its brutal actions in Ukraine, Russian agents have considered increasingly desperate measures to prevent further erosion of its influence,” the Treasury said in the report. his statement announcing sanctions against Shor and other individuals.
There Moldova, which together with Ukraine obtained EU candidacy status in June, is particularly vulnerable to Russian pressure due to its almost 100% dependence on Russian gas. More than five times the gas price hikes this year have hit its population of 2.5 million hard, and energy bills now amount to over 60% of the average cost of living for a Moldovan. “They are very embarrassed about the whole operation in Ukraine and they need a success somewhere,” Oleg Serebrian, Deputy Prime Minister of Moldova said in an interview. My personal fear is that Moldova is an easier target than ‘Ukraine. So, for a kind of moral rearmament of Russian society, they could use different tools in Moldova. The first is the economic one ».