On Tuesday, May 30, the European Union imposed penalties on seven citizens of Moldova for behavior that seemed to have threatened the territorial integrity of both the small, impoverished nation and neighboring Ukraine.
The 27-nation bloc announced the punitive measures two days before more than 40 European leaders meet in Chisinau in a show of support for the former Soviet republic, which has a pro-western government and denounced Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Since Maia Sandu was elected president of Moldova in 2020, the EU has generously supported her, and it recently stated that it would double its allocation of macroeconomic support to €290 million.
Three of the individuals the EU was after have left Moldova. Two are accused of committing bank fraud.
The seven were “responsible for actions aimed at destabilizing, undermining or threatening the sovereignty and independence” of Moldova and Ukraine, according to a statement from EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
Moscow is allegedly aiming to destabilize Sandu’s country.
She claimed on social media that those who disagree with their laws have violated national interests and are still doing so. They also pose a threat to Moldova’s progress and serve the interests of the Kremlin.
Those targeted by the EU include Vlad Plahotniuc, deemed the mastermind of a $1 billion fraud in 2014-2015, and Ilan Shor (transcribed also as Șor), his pro-Russian associate who has organized mass anti-government protests from exile in Israel.
Marina Tauber, a prominent member of Sor’s party and the protests’ principal organizer, was also included on the list.
Shor, a business tycoon who was given a 15-year prison term by a Moldovan court in April, disregarded the EU sanctions and charged Sandu with pushing the nation toward insolvency.
“Moldova is a neutral state and should conduct itself by what is written in the constitution,” he told Russian media.
Thursday’s gathering is intended as a show of support for both Moldova and Ukraine.