Moldovan Opposition Holds Anti-EU Congress in Moscow Ahead of Key Elections

Moldovan opposition politicians, backed by Russia, form new pro-Moscow bloc 'Pobeda' ahead of critical elections and EU referendum, highlighting tensions between pro-EU and pro-Russian factions in the country.

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Moldovan Opposition Holds Anti-EU Congress in Moscow Ahead of Key Elections

Moldovan Opposition Holds Anti-EU Congress in Moscow Ahead of Key Elections

Several Moldovan opposition politicians, including Ilan Shor and Evghenia Guțul, held an anti-EU integration congress in Moscow on Thursday, as part of a campaign endorsed by the Kremlin to disrupt political activity in Moldova. The event comes ahead of a critical presidential election and a referendum on joining the European Union scheduled for later this year.

The congress was organized by pro-Russian forces in Moldova, including representatives from the Gagauzia region, which has had uneasy relations with the central government since Moldova's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Gagauzia's leaders have rejected proposed judicial reforms and demanded enhanced status for the Russian language, seen as part of a broader effort to undermine Moldova's pro-European trajectory.

At the event, the opposition politicians announced the creation of a new opposition bloc called 'Pobeda' (Victory), which advocates for closer ties with Russia, the CIS, and the Eurasian Economic Union. The bloc is led by Ilan Shor, who is currently evading Moldovan judicial proceedings, and includes other politicians linked to the Sor group such as Marina Tauber and Dmitrii Constantinov.

Shor criticized the current Moldovan government's policies, calling the course towards European integration a "road to nowhere" for Moldova. The new bloc aims to promote good neighborly relations with all countries, cooperation and partnerships with Russia, as well as strong family values and prosperity for Moldova.

Why this matters: The congress in Moscow highlights the ongoing tensions between pro-Russian and pro-European factions in Moldova, as the country prepares for a pivotal election and referendum on its future geopolitical orientation. The outcome of these events could have significant implications for Moldova's relations with the European Union and Russia, as well as the stability of the region.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu has identified Russia as the biggest threat to the country and is pushing for EU integration, which is opposed by the Gagauzian leadership and pro-Russian politicians like Shor. The Moldovan government has accused the members of the newly-formed 'Pobeda' bloc of treason and has taken various actions against them, including sanctions and criminal investigations.

Key Takeaways

  • Moldovan opposition politicians held anti-EU congress in Moscow, backed by Kremlin.
  • New pro-Russian 'Pobeda' bloc formed, led by Ilan Shor, criticizing EU integration.
  • Tensions between pro-Russian and pro-European factions in Moldova ahead of key elections.
  • Moldovan government accuses 'Pobeda' bloc members of treason, imposes sanctions.
  • Outcome of elections and EU referendum could impact Moldova's relations with EU, Russia.