Russia-Friendly Party Holds Protest in Moldova

Following a large demonstration by pro-Russian activists in front of the parliament building in Chisinau on February 1, tensions in Moldova have once again begun to flare. They want President Maia Sandu and the Party of Action and Solidarity’s (PAS) “pro-Western” administration to step down and call for early elections.

The Russia Revival Party, which has four seats in the Moldovan parliament at present, was mainly responsible for organizing the protest. It has been a major actor in the country’s political turmoil for the last six months.

Protesters included prominent members of the infamous Shor Party. Its six-seat legislature became notorious last year after the Constitutional Court of Moldova declared it illegal on June 19, 2023. Lawmakers leveled destabilization accusations against the Shor Party at the time.

Upon Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Moldova was immediately thrust into a web of intricate political dynamics. Protests, shouting matches, and sometimes violent clashes broke out as a result of citizens’ divergent views and the pressure from political factions. Regardless, the administration managed to secure the world’s highest per capita refugee intake of almost 120,000 Ukrainians. After nearly two years of what appears to be an endless battle, tensions are at an all-time high.

In June 2022, the European Union granted candidate status to Moldova in an effort to enhance regional stability and further integrate the country with the rest of Europe. Many Russia-friendly individuals and organizations, however, thought that lawmakers should be concentrating on strengthening ties with Moscow instead, and they were quick to criticize it.

Later this year, Moldova will hold its presidential elections. Parliamentary elections aren’t scheduled for 2025, but demonstrators are certainly stepping up their efforts to grab attention well before then.

Last month, the Intelligence and Security Service (SIS) of Moldova issued a warning to the public against the rise of disinformation and campaigns spreading false information. Following intelligence reports from Ukraine in February 2023, President Sandu accused Russia of sending infiltrators with military training to pose as agents provocateurs in an effort to sow discord in the country.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied the allegations. Russian officials have long maintained that their goal in accusing Ukraine of intelligence fabrication and interference is to damage ties with Moldova.




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