1. Moldova: Year of Elections
BSSB.BE deschide.md 28/01/2019
* Vlad Plahotniuc gave Deschide.MD the first interview in this year, which is decisive for the political future and path of the Republic of Moldova. The President of DPM talks about the criminal case brought against him in Moscow, as well as about the people behind it.
Our interlocutor reveals, for the first time, the number of requests that the Russians have made to Interpol on his name and talks about what FSB was doing in Bucharest. In this interview the leader of democrats explains the situation in Balti, presents the main element of DPM strategy for this electoral year, as well as the deadline set to the new ministers to confirm their capacities. Vlad Plahotniuc will also tell what will happen to Igor Dodon’s being suspended. He will speak about “Kroll-2” and will give a personal score to the fight against corruption.
– There is a criminal case brought up against you in Russian Federation, and you have qualified this as political pressure and a blackmailing tool of Moscow. What is this blackmailing? How did it materialize? What do the Russians want from you?
- I think that anyone who saw the information brought into the public space understands very well what is behind this criminal case. It is a continuation of pressure applied for over a year not just on me, but also on colleagues from the Government, Parliament and Coalition. I handle my situation myself, but when other colleagues, some officials were blackmailed, a public position was taken and Ministry of Foreign Affairs took actions.
- You must be aware of them. Why is blackmailing used? Many would expect to hear that it is all about geopolitics, but it is not that, or certainly not only that. Great pressures started when the authorities began to speak up about the Laundromat, about the laundering of the 22 billion through a Moldovan bank, money having come from Russia. When specific action was taken with regard to the individuals involved in this case and when this topic became notorious internationally, the pressure started.
- Some individuals from Russian Federation, directly interested in this case, tried to determine Moldovan government to intervene and block the investigation. There was also direct pressure on some members of the Parliament when the laws on securing banking system were voted, which meant, among other, that the activities of some groups from Russian Federation that were making use of our banking system for illegal purposes would be blocked. The pressure also intensified after the anti-propaganda law was brought into discussion, as well as other initiatives.
– How many requests have the Russians made to INTERPOL on your name?
- Many, I no longer know the exact number. However, I believe that there were about 20 in a year. This is just to help you better understand the abusive nature of this harassment. You see, they needed quite a bit of imagination to invent so many different deeds. A charge would not go through; they would look for another one, and another one, until they saw that Interpol rejected all of them because they were acts of political harassment.
Then they got the court rulings, hoping that these would be more convincing for Interpol, but they too were rejected, as they represent political pressure. There are other colleagues, from the Government and the Parliament, who were also targets of such political harassment. For some of them there were also numerous requests sent to Interpol, which were also rejected.
– Some people believe that all this is nothing but your personal issues with Russian Federation, and this undermines bilateral relations between Chisinau and Moscow. What would you say?
The hall at the entrance to DPM Headquarters
Very often, sometimes in a much-exaggerated manner, the press would write about my relations with influential individuals in Russian Federation. I used to have and I still have friends there. My relationship with them has not changed, but even though they are influential individuals, I have never asked them to intervene and stop the abuse. As I have said, the pressure and blackmailing have started when the authorities have made the details of the Laundromat case public.
Moreover, here I do not go for suppositions. Some people from Moscow contacted me and made it very clear what would follow should this subject not be closed. There was a list of requests, among them to stop the Laundromat case investigation. I have not satisfied those requests. The promised harassment followed, but as it concerned just myself, I have not made much fuss of it.
However, when they started to apply pressure on governmental and parliamentary officials, the problem became more complex. Other actions of the government added to this. Those from the Russian Federation, probably also being incited by the parties that support them in the Republic of Moldova, tried to apply pressure on the officials to block the actions in question. Therefore, there is no personal conflict here. Before I became the leader of the Democratic Party and began to coordinate the political activity of the Coalition, I had no conflicts with Russian Federation.
On the contrary, we had a balanced relationship, even though some would falsely accuse me that I was trying to deviate Moldova from the pro-European path in partnership with the Russians. Nowadays, anyone can see my actions and understand how false those accusations were. As other accusations, by the way. If you want even more clarity about the covert media instruments Moscow has recently been using, I would recommend scrutinizing the two so-called pro-European TV channels that they use.
These are TV channels that on one hand ask for European funds, and on the other hand act as part of the political harassment schemes run by Russian secret services. I believe the electoral year will also shed light on individuals that work for the benefit of these services. It is more and more difficult for them to conceal their activities; the ears are already sticking out.
- The publication is not an editorial. It reflects solely the point of view and argumentation of the author. The publication is presented in the presentation. Start in the previous issue. The original is available at: deschide.md