The US imposed sanctions on Moldovans linked to Moscow

The United States has imposed sanctions on two Moldovan oligarchs and other individuals linked to corruption or alleged cooperation with Russia to undermine democracy in the country, Reuters reported.

The sanctions were announced at a time when Western powers are trying to boost their support for Moldova amid fears of an escalation of the war in neighboring Ukraine. The United States said it was freezing all American assets and criminalizing dealings with Ilan Shor, the Israeli-born businessman-turned-politician in Moldova, where he fled in 2019. Shor was convicted of stealing $1 billion from Moldovan banks in 2014.

The US Treasury Department said the businessman worked with Russia to create an alliance before last year’s election and later coordinated with Moscow to thwart Moldova’s bid to join the European Union.

The list also includes former Moldovan parliament member Vladimir Plahotniuc, who manipulated “key areas of government, including the law enforcement, electoral and judicial sectors.”

“The United States encourages accountability for systemic attempts to undermine Moldova’s democratic institutions and elections.

The U.S. will continue to hold accountable those who threaten democracy abroad,” said U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on 7 more people, as well as 12 organizations, in connection with alleged Russian attempts to interfere in Moldovan politics.

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