US intelligence is confident that individuals linked to Russia are planning to organize anti-government protests in Moldova. The goal is to try to overthrow the government and see a more pro-Russian administration there. It is reported by CNN with reference to representatives of the White House.
The United States believes that Russia is trying to weaken the Moldovan government, which seeks closer ties with the European Union, said John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council. The US also sees signs that entities linked to the Russian government may be preparing anti-government demonstrations in Moldova. In recent weeks, the Moldovan capital, Chisinau, has been rocked by protests, mostly organized by the Russia-friendly Moldovan Shor Party.
The Biden administration also believes that Moscow is working to spread disinformation about overall stability in Moldova. One example is the announcement by the Russian Defense Ministry last month that Ukraine was planning an invasion of Transnistria. US officials said the allegations are “baseless, false and create unfounded alarm”. Moldovan President Maia Sandu said publicly last month that she believes the Russian government is planning “a series of actions involving military-trained saboteurs dressed in civilian clothes to carry out acts of violence, attack government buildings and take hostages.”
The White House sees no immediate military threat to Moldova, officials said. But the US is keeping a close eye on Russia’s activities in Moldova, wary of the Kremlin’s ongoing efforts to destabilize Europe. President Joe Biden met with Sandu in February in Warsaw, where they discussed Russian malign influence activities. The US is declassifying this intelligence to deter Moscow from further action, officials say, similar to how Washington routinely releases intelligence about Russia’s intentions in Ukraine to thwart their plans.
Earlier, Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicolae Popescu spoke about the plans of the Russians to attack the airport in Chisinau.
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