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Vlad Plahotniuc and Ilan Shor added to U.S. sanctions list

Sanctions have been announced by the United States against the Moldovan oligarchs Vlad Plahotniuc and Ilan Shor, as well as against several entities and individuals associated with them, for actions related to systemic corruption and Kremlin-linked election interference.

“You, the Moldovan public, do not need me to tell you the extent of the corruption Mr. Plahotniuc and Mr. Shor have engaged in.  You have lived through the years of state capture, an eroded justice system, distorted elections and stolen votes in Parliament, and bags of cash changing hands. Tonight’s announcement is the latest in a series of actions the United States has taken to help root out the scourge of corruption in Moldova”, U.S. Ambassador to Moldova Kent D. Logsdon stated in making the announcement.

The sanctions prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons – and any other transactions within or transiting the United States – that involve any property or interests in property of the sanctioned individuals. Plahotniuc, Shor, and the other individuals put on the sanctions list will also be ineligible to enter the United States as immigrants or non-immigrants.

Ambassador Logsdon emphasized that Plahotniuc and Shor were being sanctioned under two different legal authorities. Plahotniuc was designated under an executive order that builds on the Global Magnitsky Act, “for his extensive role in corruption in Moldova”. And Shor, together with his wife Sara Shor, the Shor Party, and several Russian nationals and entities, were sanctioned under an executive order that blocks property for persons involved in harmful foreign activities of the Russian government.

According to the ambassador, Shor and his associates were found to have interfered in the Moldovan electoral process on behalf of the government of the Russian Federation, including working to support Russian interests in Moldova’s Parliament in 2021, and working with Russia and other oligarchs to foment unrest in Moldova as recently as June 2022.

“The Russian nationals sanctioned in today’s action participated in a wide-ranging effort to undermine rule of law and influence elections and domestic politics in Moldova to further Russia’s interests”, he added.

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