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Monday, July 22, 2024

Joint Statement Exposing Russia’s Subversive Activity and Electoral Interference Targeting Moldova

Joint Statement Exposing Russia’s Subversive Activity and Electoral Interference Targeting Moldova

The text of the following statement was released by the Governments of the United States of America, Canada, and the United Kingdom on Russia’s subversive activity and electoral interference targeting Moldova.

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We, the governments of Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, are united in confronting Russia’s aggression and subversion against democratic societies.  We continue to support Ukraine as it defends its freedom and independence from Russia’s illegal and unjustified full-scale invasion.  We also stand firmly against persistent Kremlin attempts to use disinformation, criminal and covert activities, and corruption to undermine sovereignty and democratic processes.

Free, fair, and independent elections are the cornerstone of any democratic society.  We have consistently witnessed Russia’s attempts to influence, subvert, and undermine democratic elections in order to secure results favorable to the Kremlin.

This threat is especially relevant in 2024, a year when hundreds of millions of people across Europe and North America go to the polls to select their leaders in European, national, regional, and local elections.

The Kremlin relies on lies, deceit, corruption and disinformation to undermine sovereignty and democracy.  While democracy thrives on openness and truth-telling, authoritarianism and disinformation depend on secrecy and deception.

We want to address today the Kremlin’s actions in Moldova.  President Maia Sandu and Moldova’s security institutions have warned that the Kremlin is seeking to undermine Moldovan democratic institutions in the lead-up to the October presidential elections and a referendum on Moldova’s EU membership.  We share President Sandu’s strong concerns about the Kremlin’s use of criminal groups to finance political activities and undermine Moldova’s democratic institutions.  We commend Moldova’s leaders for continuing to capably manage these threats, build resilience, and maintain peace and security, while driving forward democratic reforms and reviving the country’s economy.

That is why today, in defense of our shared democratic values, we are taking this step to warn our democratic partners and Allies that Russian actors are carrying out a plot to influence the outcomes of Moldova’s fall 2024 presidential election.  They intend to incite protests in Moldova should a pro-Russia candidate not win.  They seek to foment negative public perceptions of Western governments and Moldova’s incumbent leadership, while degrading public confidence in Moldova’s ability to secure itself and maintain rule of law.   Russia is currently supporting candidates for Moldova’s presidency and is exacerbating societal tensions.  These Russian actors are actively using disinformation and propaganda online, on the air, and on the streets to further their objectives.  They are agitating criticism of the incumbent Moldovan president’s government and political party, in order to incite protests.  Part of these operations would include spreading lies about the incumbent president’s character and intentions, and about supposed electoral irregularities.  If Russia’s election meddling proves unsuccessful in Moldova, there is reason to believe Moscow will work to incite protests.  Russia’s political interference in Moldova in the lead-up to the October election goes back years.  For example, personnel of state-funded media outlet RT have been involved in providing direct support to fugitive Moldovan Ilan Shor for several years with Russian government assent.  All three of our governments have sanctioned Shor for his destabilizing electoral activities.

We have full confidence in Moldova’s ability to manage these threats linked to the Kremlin’s interference.  We are taking a range of measures to support those efforts as part of our partnership with Moldova and its people.  We have shared the information outlined above, and additional details, with our Moldovan partners so that they can further investigate, thwart, and disrupt the Kremlin’s plans.  We will continue to work closely with the Moldovan government on this.

We will also continue to promote accountability for those involved in these Kremlin-sponsored schemes to covertly finance political activities in Moldova.  And we have sanctioned – and will continue to take action against – those individuals and entities attempting to destabilize Moldova’s democratic institutions.

We will continue to support Moldova and the Moldovan people as they manage Kremlin interference and the impacts of Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine.  We strongly support Moldova’s democratic, economic, security, and anti-corruption reforms.

By revealing the Kremlin’s plot, we are making it clear to Moscow that we stand for free and fair elections and will not tolerate its attempts to meddle and undermine democratic processes.  We urge the Kremlin to abandon these efforts to subvert Moldova’s democracy and to respect its sovereignty and the outcomes of free, fair, and independent elections.

We will continue to stand with all of our friends, partners, and Allies in defense of our shared democratic values and freedoms.

End Text.

Official news published at https://www.state.gov/joint-statement-exposing-russias-subversive-activity-and-electoral-interference-targeting-moldova/

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