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FAKE NEWS: Maia Sandu is conceding Moldova’s water resources

Apa
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NEWS: “President Maia Sandu supports Ukraine’s plans to build the Novodnistrovsk Hydroelectric Power Plant, which might leave Chișinău without a viable water source. The topic was tackled during the meeting Maia Sandu had with her counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev. We recall hydrologists have repeatedly argued against the building of the Novodnistrovsk Hydroelectric Power Station, saying the Dniester’s water levels would fall dramatically from one year to the next. In 2020, due to extreme drought, the situation further deteriorated, and the city of Chișinău risks losing its water source”.

The news was distributed, commented upon and amplified by former Prime Minister Ion Chicu on his Facebook page:

“In the two meetings with the Prime Minister of Ukraine, as well as during negotiations on the inter-government commission’s platform, held earlier last year in Kiev, Moldova’s position was clear: construction works on the Dniester hydroelectric power station cannot start until the ecological impact assessment is finalized. The assessment (funded by the EU) is not yet ready. Accordingly, any deviation from this position could result in serious consequences. Additionally, the expansion of the hydroelectric station in Novodnistrovsk would entail territorial losses for the Republic of Moldova (again). I do hope our delegation in Kiev today didn’t consent to surrendering further territories. This would further complicate our bilateral agenda with our neighboring country, which is not a strategic partner or a friendly state”, Chicu wrote on his Facebook page.

NARRATIVES: 1. Maia Sandu will renounce the Republic of Moldova’s water resources. 2. Maia Sandu agrees to surrendering Moldovan territories. 3. Maia Sandu is not defending the national interests of the Republic of Moldova.  

BACKGROUND: Prior to Maia Sandu’s visit to Kiev on January 12, the anticoruptie.md news portal published a broad investigation into Ukraine’s energy plans on the Dniester. The article provides details about Kiev’s plans and intentions for the so-called Dniester Hydroelectric Station and the possible environment threats it poses for the Republic of Moldova. The population of this state is 80% reliant on drinking water supplied by the Dniester. Moldovan society is split and apprehensive over Kiev’s numerous plans for the Republic of Moldova. Ion Chicu tries to legitimize the fake news, writing that Moldova could surrender territories and Maia Sandu might make promises in that sense. Moreover, he also refers to a precedent, Moldova signing over its share of the Naslavacha dam (in the north) to Kiev in exchange for territories in Giurgiulești. The reassignment of territories took effect in 2010 following an inter-governmental agreement signed by the former prime ministers Vlad Filat (Moldova) and Yulia Tymoshenko (Ukraine).

PURPOSE: To sabotage every initiative of president Maia Sandu. Although they hold the power, the Socialists and their allies act as if they were in opposition with respect to the Presidency, now led by Maia Sandu. By the same token, it’s an attempt to discredit Maia Sandu and portray her as “a traitor of Moldova’s interests”.

WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: As a former Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Chicu knows very well that signing a preliminary agreement is the Government’s remit, not the Presidency’s. Moreover, as a former Prime Minister he is closely familiar with this issue that has been negotiated by the two countries’ Foreign Ministries ever since 2017. Therefore, the president cannot make any hypothetical promises. Besides, Moldova’s strategic interests and shortages of drinking water are known to the public at an administrative level as well.

GRAIN OF TRUTH:  Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, visited Power station no. 1 at Novodnistrovsk in October to inspect construction works on the fourth turbine, which will be rendered operational in 2021. Judging from official statements, Ukraine wants to build new energy production and storage units until 2026, as part of its national energy strategy until 2030.

OFFICIAL REACTIONS: PAS deputy Sergiu Litvinenco on Tuesday posted a reaction on his Facebook page, disproving the fake news disseminated by PSRM-linked media controlled by wanted millionaire Vlad Plahotniuc.

“The Socialists have started promoting fake news by the dozen. Maia Sandu allegedly “supports the construction of Ukrainian hydroelectric power plants on the Dniester”. In fact, Maia Sandu said the following: “Given that the Dniester’s waters ensure the life and well-being of over seven million people living in its basin, both in the Republic of Moldova and in Ukraine, it’s highly important we continue dialogue between our two countries to ensure the protection and sustainable use of the Dniester River, so that its waters should serve both our generations and those to come”.

So where’s that coming from? The lie was picked up by everyone – Plahotniuc’s trolls (who now work for PSRM), Plahotniuc’s websites (now PSRM’s), PSRM’s TV stations, etc. Of course, they’ve all done their “homework”. And they don’t care what the topic is, what people are saying, what officials have said or what they’ve signed. They just throw this garbage out there for the public to read regardless of the facts. They couldn’t be more predictable, and one can see Plahotniuc’s “handouts” subsequently borrowed by Dondon are now implemented both “to the letter” and “in spirit”. What PSRM fails to grasp is that such miserable lies thrown into the public sphere have now backfired, first against Plahotniuc, then against Dodon, and they’re bound to deal a deadly blow to PSRM as well. So march on to your undoing, (still) fellow PSRM MPs!”, Litvinenco wrote on his Facebook page.


  • Publication / Media:
    today.md
  • Date of publication:
    11/01/2021
  • Language / Target audience:
    moldovans, pro-russians, minorities
  • Amplification:
    social media, tv and radio stations
  • Political affiliation:
    PDM, PSRM
  • Key narrative:
    Maia Sandu will renounce the Republic of Moldova’s water resources
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  • NARRATIVES: 1. Maia Sandu will renounce the Republic of Moldova’s water resources. 2. Maia Sandu agrees to surrendering Moldovan territories. 3. Maia Sandu is not defending the national interests of the Republic of Moldova.
  • . Ion Chicu tries to legitimize the fake news, writing that Moldova could surrender territories and Maia Sandu might make promises in that sense.
  • As a former Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Chicu knows very well that signing a preliminary agreement is the Government’s remit, not the Presidency’s.
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