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European Council adopts new sanctions framework to target actions aimed at destabilizing Moldova

The European Council on April 28 adopted a new framework for targeted restrictive measures which provides the EU with the possibility of imposing sanctions against persons responsible for supporting or implementing actions which undermine or threaten the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Moldova, as well as the country’s democracy, the rule of law, stability or security, IPN reports, with reference to the European Council.

Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that “as one of the countries most affected by the fallout of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, we witness increased and continued attempts to destabilize Moldova. The new sanctions regime will give us the possibility to continue strengthening Moldova’s resilience by targeting those who try to destabilize the country. This is an important political signal of the EU’s support to Moldova in the current difficult context.”

Thanks to this new framework the EU will be able to target for instance individuals who obstruct or undermine the democratic political process, including the holding of elections, or attempt to overthrow the constitutional order, including through acts of violence. Future restrictive measures could also target individuals who engage in serious financial misconduct concerning public funds and the unauthorized export of capital, insofar as they could take control over or seriously influence the activities of state authorities.

Sanctions will consist of an asset freeze and prohibition to make funds available for individuals and entities, and a travel ban to the EU for natural persons.

The efforts to destabilize the Republic of Moldova have noticeably increased since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, and represent a direct threat to the stability and security of the external borders of the EU. This framework for targeted restrictive measures was adopted at the request of the Republic of Moldova, runs the press release of the European Council.

The foreign ministers of the Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) countries (Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden), who had been in Chisinau on a visit during April 27-18, signed a joint statement with Moldova by which they stated their determination to support the EU in the imposition of restrictive measures on persons responsible for undermining and destabilizing Moldova and to support the peaceful settlement of the Transnistrian conflict by observing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Moldova.

On April 24, 2023, the EU launched a Partnership Mission in the Republic of Moldova under the Common Security and Defense Policy to enhance the resilience of the security sector of the country in the areas of crisis management and hybrid threats.

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