Kremlin in search for casus belli in Moldova

April 23,2024 258
Kremlin in search for casus belli in Moldova

Russia seeks to create conditions to justify possible aggression against Moldova, writes the Institute for the Study of War (ISW). Pro-Russian figures in the country are looking for reasons to stoke conflict.

The Gagauzia authority, a pro-Russian autonomous region in Moldova, appealed to the Moldovan parliament to grant the Russian language special legal status. Later, Kremlin-affiliated Governor of Gagauzia Yevgenia Gutsul stated that the Moldovan government is “Russophobic” and opposes the proposal.

“The Gagauzian appeal is likely part of Kremlin efforts to set information conditions to blame Moldova for discriminating against Russian speakers and justify future Russian aggression in Moldova as necessary to protect Russia’s ”compatriots abroad,” analysts write.

The Russian Foreign Minister stated that the West coerced Moldovan President Maia Sandu into openly dragging “Moldova into NATO, either directly or through unification with Romania”, and criticized Moldova and Armenia’s Western course. Sergey Lavrov added that the same was done with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier.

Moscow has urged Moldova to review its decisions, claiming that the West will force its citizens to fight in a possible war against Russia. Such Russian statements are a “tacit threat”, say experts at the Institute for the Study of War.

ISW continues to assess that the Kremlin is likely trying to destabilize Moldovan society, attack Moldova’s democratic government, and prevent Moldova’s accession to the European Union,” the report says.

In March, Alexandru Musteata, head of the Information and Security Service, stated that Russia had prepared a plan to destabilize the situation in Moldova. The Kremlin aims to interfere in the country’s internal affairs, provoke protests, influence the upcoming presidential elections in the fall, and derail Moldova’s EU accession plans.

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