Moldovan President Maia Sandu welcomed the creation in the EU of a mechanism for imposing sanctions against persons allegedly destabilizing the situation in the country. The corresponding statement was issued by the press service of the head of the republic.

"Thanks to this decision, the European Union will be able to freeze assets and block the entry into the EU of people who undermine the democratic political process or try to overthrow the constitutional order, including through violent actions," Sandu was quoted as saying by Moldpres.

According to the politician, the adoption of such measures by Brussels testifies to the support of the European Union for the European course of Chisinau.

"We thank the European Union for the support offered to preserve stability and security in the country by imposing individual sanctions against those who want to cause destabilization. We thank Romania for its continued participation and firm support for this important initiative for Moldova. The adoption of this sanctions regime is a clear proof of the EU's support for Moldova, our European path and ensuring peace and stability in the region,'' Maia Sandu said.

Recall that on April 28, the European Union announced the creation of a sanctions mechanism to counter attempts to destabilize Moldova, which allegedly intensified against the backdrop of Russia's NWO. According to analysts, in fact, the EU has created a tool for imposing restrictions against the Moldovan opposition.

The website of the EU Council states that the new mechanism allows Brussels "to take measures against persons who impede or undermine the democratic political process, including the holding of elections, or try to overthrow the constitutional order, including through violent actions."

"Also, the objects of future restrictive measures may be persons involved in serious financial violations related to public funds and unauthorized export of capital, on a scale that allows you to control or seriously influence the actions of state authorities," the report says.

  • Maia Sandu and Secretary General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić
  • Legion-Media
  • © Ducu Rodionoff

Brussels noted that the sanctions will include the freezing of assets, a ban on the provision of funds to individuals and legal entities, as well as a ban on entry into the EU to individuals. The EU Council added that this mechanism was created at the request of the Moldovan authorities.

"The new sanctions regime will give us the opportunity to continue to strengthen Moldova's resilience by taking action against those who seek to destabilize the country. This is an important political signal that the EU supports Moldova in the current difficult circumstances," said the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell.

According to Vladimir Zharikhin, deputy director of the Institute of CIS Countries, the use of the restriction mechanism by Brussels could seriously complicate the activities of the Moldovan opposition.

"The imposition of such sanctions means that Sandu's opponents will not be able to travel to Europe and use financial savings. This, of course, will create problems for them and complicate their work, "the analyst said in a conversation with RT.

Pressure on opposition leaders

It is worth noting that this is not the only measure that the EU has recently taken to strengthen the position of the current Moldovan authorities within the country. On April 24, Brussels announced the establishment of an EU partner mission (EUPM Moldova) in Moldova. Its goal is to increase the resilience of the country's security sector in the field of crisis management and hybrid threats, including cybersecurity.

The EUPM must also counter foreign information manipulation and interference. The mandate of the mission is for two years.

As Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted, under the guise of this mission, Brussels will actually rule Moldova.

"Emphasizing the "partnership" nature of the new mission, the EU members, as always, are disingenuous ... The sign should not create illusions about what the EU representatives will do there, exercising de facto external control of Moldova," the diplomat said.

Against the backdrop of support from the EU, Sandu continues to put pressure on the opposition in the country. So, on May 1, the Moldovan prosecutor's office announced the detention of the vice-chairman of the opposition Shor party, Marina Tauber, who is suspected of violating the rules for financing the party. The detention was made due to the politician's alleged non-compliance with the conditions of the measure of restraint applied to her.

Meanwhile, her lawyer Aureliu Colenko believes that the Moldovan authorities had no grounds for detention. The lawyer recalled that no measure of restraint was chosen against Tauber and she was not forbidden to leave Moldova. According to him, the case against Tauber is a political order.

Earlier, the Moldovan leadership announced its intention to ban the deputies of the Shor Party from speaking in parliament. In addition, last year the country's government sent a request to the Constitutional Court to eliminate this political force, but was refused.

Criminal cases were also initiated against representatives of the Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova (PSRM). This was announced in an interview with Izvestia by its leader, ex-president of the country Igor Dodon.

"Pressure continues on opposition leaders - only ten or 13 criminal cases have been opened against me, I no longer count them. All my colleagues in the Party of Socialists also have several cases, there is serious pressure, "said the politician, who spent several months under house arrest.

  • Igor Dodon

Sandu is pursuing a similar repressive policy in the context of the state of emergency that has been in effect in the country since October 2021. Initially, it was introduced due to the difficult situation in the energy sector and provides the Commission for Emergency Situations with the opportunity to introduce rationed consumption of natural gas and other energy sources, allocate funds from the budget, as well as coordinate the work of the media and take other emergency measures.

Also, during the state of emergency, the Moldovan authorities suspended the licenses of several TV channels - Primul in Moldova, RTR Moldova, Accent TV, NTV Moldova, TV6 and Orhei TV - due to the fact that they "unscrupulously" covered the conflict in Ukraine. At the end of March 2023, the state of emergency was extended for 60 days.

"Against the rules and ideals of democracy"

According to Vladimir Zharikhin, Sandu turned to the EU for help, as she feels the instability of her power.

"Sandu feels the instability of her position and the decline in popularity among the population due to her unsuccessful economic policy and too radically pro-Western course. The combination of these factors creates insecurity in her, which she tries to overcome with the help of undemocratic and authoritarian methods, "the analyst said.

Recall that Maia Sandu came to power in 2020. The following year, her Action and Solidarity party won the parliamentary elections and formed a government.

As Sergey Margulis, senior lecturer at the Department of International Politics and Regional Studies of the Institute of Social Sciences of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, recalls, under Sandu, there was a deterioration in socio-economic indicators in the country, which led to mass protests.

"The mass protests that we have recently seen in Moldova are a serious problem for Sandu. Their cause should be sought not so much in the foreign policy orientation of the authorities, but in the internal situation in the country. The growth of tariffs for energy and other utilities causes mass discontent among the population, "the political scientist said in a conversation with RT.

  • Anti-government protests in Chișinău, March 2023
  • © Diego Herrera Carcedo/Anadolu Agency

Analysts say that Sandu is particularly concerned about the situation in Gagauzia, where representatives of the opposition, Grigore Uzun from the PSRM and Eugenia Hutsul from the Shor Party, reached the second round of elections for the head of the region. Candidate Dmitry Kroitor, who is considered loyal to Sandu, took only fifth place.

Serghei Margulis believes that in these conditions, Sandu will use various forms of pressure on the opposition, including EU sanctions.

"Maia Sandu is a representative of pro-Romanian and pro-European forces in the Moldovan establishment. These forces are trying to weaken their political opponents as much as possible, including ex-President Igor Dodon. To do this, Sandu will resort to any mechanisms that will allow exerting pressure on the opposition," Margulis said.

At the same time, the analyst states that Brussels is ready to turn a blind eye to the oppression of the opposition in Moldova, since Chisinau is persecuting politicians friendly to the Russian Federation.

"The EU will not react to this oppression in any way. The same Shor Party is clearly oriented towards Russia. Therefore, in the current political conditions, no one will condemn Sandu in the EU for their persecution," Margulis said.

According to Vladimir Zharikhin, this kind of double standards is the norm for the European Union.

"This is a style of European diplomacy and politics that has been developed over the centuries. From their point of view, everything that Europe does for its own benefit is right and useful. And everything that others do in their own interests is already speaking out against the rules and ideals of democracy," the expert concluded.