During a press briefing on Monday, Moldovan President Maia Sandu accused Russia of planning a coup to overthrow the government and stop the country from joining the European Union, backing assertions made by Ukrainian intelligence last week.
Sandu told reporters that “authorities are aware of plans for destabilization in Moldova for the near future… actions are planned involving military-trained saboteurs who will attack state buildings by taking hostages.”
“Documents received from our Ukrainian partners demonstrate the documentation of places and logistics aspects of the organization of these subversive actions. The plan also involves the use of people from outside the country for violent actions,” Sandu added, further claiming that “the materials contain instructions on the rules of entry into Moldova for citizens of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Belarus, Serbia and Montenegro. The authors rely on some internal forces, but especially on criminal groups, such as the [pro-Russian] Shor Party, some veterans and several people known for their connections with [former MP Vladimir] Plahotniuc.”
“The purpose of these actions is to overthrow the constitutional order, to change legitimate power from Chisinau to illegitimate, which would put the country at the disposal of Russia to stop the process of integration into the EU,” Sandu said.
This comes days after the Moldovan government resigned due to “many crises caused by Russian aggression,” such as high energy prices and inflation, according to former Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita. During a press conference, Gavrilita said that “I took over the government with an anti-corruption, pro-development and pro-European mandate at a time when corruption schemes had captured all the institutions and the oligarchs felt untouchable.”
We were immediately faced with energy blackmail, and those who did this hoped that we would give in,” she added, referencing the Kremlin, but “I believe in the Moldovan people. I believe in Moldova. I believe that we will be able to make it through all the difficulties and challenges.”