Mon. Jun 5th, 2023


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Major blow for Putin as Maldova withdraws from Russia-led alliance

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The Republic of Moldova has withdrawn from the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, the President of the Parliament, Igor Grosu, announced in a press conference. The decision was taken after consultations with President Maia Sandu, the PAS party and Moldovan citizens, he said.

In a major blow to Russia and Vladimir Putin, Grosu said: “After 30 years, it became clear that the presence of the Republic of Moldova in the structures of the CIS did not help us to remove the Russian army from the territory of the Republic of Moldova, to resolve the Transnistrian conflict. Being in the CIS did not protect us from blackmail in the middle of winter.

“Withdrawal from the CIS Assembly is a first step. Ukraine left this organisation. The Republic of Moldova is a free country to make sovereign decisions. We demonstrated that we want democracy, freedom at home.

“In the next meeting of the Parliament’s office, we will make an approach to Prime Minister Recean regarding the termination of the Agreement.

“The CIS is an organisation created by Russia on the ruins of the USSR.

“The procedure could take several weeks. What could come next? What harm could he do to us?”

Moldova has grappled with Russian influence ever since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. At times, it has not so much as shunned Moscow as welcomed it with open arms.

In 2021, things changed. The government, under Ion Chicu, had leaned on Russia and Putin for political support. But the victory of current President Maia Sandu’s Party of Action and Solidarity at that year’s snap election saw a pro-western party come to power.

READ MORE: Zelensky breaks silence after explosive plan to ‘strike Russia’ leaked

Since then, a divide that already existed has only grown between those who want stronger ties with the Kremlin and those who want a better relationship with the West.

Russia’s war on Ukraine has contributed to the exacerbation of the divide between Moscow and Chisinau.

Last week, EU foreign ministers approved the launch of a civilian mission to help Moldova counter new interference in its politics and hybrid threats. The EU Partnership Mission in Moldova (EUPM Moldova) will consist of civilian advisors and run for two years.

It is believed that Stefano Tomat, the EU diplomacy services’ managing director of the Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability (CPCC), will be appointed Civilian Operation Commander. A head of the mission will be appointed “in the near future”.

As well as helping steer crisis management, the mission, the EU says, hopes to send a “political signal” to Russia that the EU supports Moldova.

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