Russia to take action if Moldova joins EU’s anti-Moscow sanctions

Published : 23 Mar 2023 09:37 PM

Russia will be compelled to take appropriate measures if Moldova joins the EU's anti-Russian sanctions, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.

Earlier, Moldova’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Nicu Popescu, said that Chisinau planned in the near future to join the additional restrictive measures imposed by the EU on a number of Russian citizens.

"As you know, in due time such steps by the EU have not gone without a response from us. If and when official Chisinau joins these sanctions, we will be compelled to take appropriate retaliatory measures against the Moldovan side. I would like to emphasize that this will not be our choice, but rather it will be a response to unfriendly actions," she said. Commenting on Popescu's statement, Zakharova pointed out that, obviously, the reference was to Chisinau's forthcoming accession to the so-called EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy, approved by the EU Council in December 2020. "And already at the beginning of March, in statements by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy [Josep] Borrell, Moldova's accession to part of these sanctions decisions is presented as a fait accompli. Amazing, isn't it? It's like a sovereign country, but decisions are being made for it and announced, even though it itself hasn't even made any decision yet," she added.

"I’d to understand whether the EU is putting the cart before the horse, or if official Chisinau is tardy in formalizing the decisions made for it in Brussels. This is a question that, probably, Moldovan citizens themselves would like to hear an answer to."

According to Zakharova, it is difficult not to notice how, in an effort to curry favor with their Western handlers, the Moldovan authorities continue to show particular zeal in fine-tuning their Russophobic agenda, not just limiting themselves to joining the EU anti-Russian sanctions. She recalled that on March 22, the Moldovan Information and Security Service issued orders to block five more websites of Russian news agency Sputnik.

The diplomat also added that Russia had always viewed the Moldovan people as friendly. "We are connected by many things in the historical context, as well as in the modern context: economics, business, humanitarian [matters], family ties. Today, official Chisinau and its Western handlers are trying to artificially destroy all of this. Russia <...> has always stood for the preservation and mutually beneficial development of multilateral ties, which have always enriched our countries and peoples," Zakharova concluded.