Moldovan-Russian diplomatic war in the international press
Moldova has once again come to the attention of international media after yesterday Chisinau has sent to Moscow a Note that indicates the abusive treatment applied to Moldovan officials at the entry into the Russian Federation, stressing that they will suspend visits there until the problem is resolved.
Associated Press news agency writes that “Moldova's parliament accused Russia's intelligence service of intimidating politicians, following an investigation into alleged money laundering by Russian officials” reffering to the Parliament statement.
The quoted source stipulates that Russia did not cooperate with the probe and the government asked Moldovan officials to not make official visits to Russia until the issue was resolved.
AP notes that the scheme which began in 2010 is said to have laundered Russian money "stolen from the government by corrupt politicians or earned through organized crime activity," moving the funds from Russian shell companies into European Union banks through Latvia, according to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, an independent organization based in the U.S.
“The abuse is alleged to have intensified after Moldovan authorities detained 15 judges and three judicial officials in September on suspicion of issuing illegal judicial rulings connected to the money laundering scheme” through Moldinconbank.
“According to OCCRP, mentions AP, the scheme used one bank each in Latvia and Moldova and 19 banks in Russia, some of them controlled by rich and powerful figures including the cousin of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
The cited source also points out the fact that “until last year, Moldovan businessman Veaceslav Platon owned more than 60 percent of Moldinconbank. He was arrested in Ukraine last year and has been extradited to Moldova to face charges in the case.”
At the end of the article, AP emphasizes that “Moldovan President Igor Dodon, who favors closer relations with Moscow, said he would go ahead with a visit to Russia next week, and was aware of the allegations of abuse which he called «dysfunctionalities».”
REUTERS informs that “the spat has erupted at a delicate time, as Moldova's newly-elected president is looking to pull his country closer to Moscow while its staunchly pro-Western government seeks closer ties with and eventual membership of the European Union.”
REUTERS also points out that the relations with Moscow soured after Moldova signed a political and trade pact with the EU in 2014, prompting Russia to slap a retaliatory ban on Moldovan produce.
According to the news agency “President Igor Dodon, who travels to Russia next week, denounced the move on Thursday to stop Moldovan officials from travelling as «abnormal» and said it would hurt efforts to build better relations with Moscow.”