The armed attack on the airport in Chișinău might have been avoided if the Republic of Moldova hadn’t distanced itself from the CIS, the Russian MFA spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova has said. The Russian official argued that Moldovan authorities had been notified about the potential attack in due time, whereas Chișinău responded the information about the criminal had been published after the attack. Maria Zakharova’s statements were disseminated in detail by media outlets in Moscow and Chișinău.
Russia: If Moldova hadn’t distanced itself from CIS, the country would have known about the attacker’s criminal record
NEWS: “If Moldovan authorities had continued their collaboration with CIS structures and had had access to its databases, it would have identified the criminal and thus avoided the tragic death of two people, the spokeswoman of the Russian MFA, Maria Zakharova has said.
The Russian official said the shooting on Chișinău Airport is a consequence of Moldova’s de facto suspension of its participation in the Office for the Coordination of the Fight against Organized Crime”.
[…] “Previously, Moldovan authorities spoke about the country’s gradual withdrawal from the CIS, saying cooperation at the level of the Commonwealth has become pointless. Consequently, the Moldovan security forces were not informed beforehand about this dangerous foreign national” (eadaily.com).
“The shooting on Chișinău Airport is a consequence of Moldova’s de facto participation in the CIS Office for the Coordination of the Fight against Organized Crime, the spokeswoman of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, has said.
“Unfortunately, Chișinău’s approach (to security, TASS’s note) already has negative consequences for the citizens of the Republic of Moldova. The recent tragic events on the airport in Chișinău represent a direct confirmation of this fact. It is a consequence of Moldova’s de facto suspension of its participation in the Office for the Coordination of the Fight against Organized Crime and Other Dangerous Types of Crime on the Territory of CIS member-states and the recall of the Moldovan delegate to this structure”, the Russian official said.
According to Maria Zakharova, it is possible that, if they had continued their cooperation with this CIS structure and had used its databases, Moldovan authorities would have managed to identify the criminal in due time”. (tass.ru)
NARRATIVES: 1. The armed attack on Chișinău Airport is a direct consequence of the Republic of Moldova’s dissociation from the CIS. 2. CIS is a provider of security for the Republic of Moldova.
BACKGROUND: On June 20, a citizen of Tajikistan, who had been previously barred from entering Moldovan territory, arrived on Chișinău airport and managed to steal the weapon of the border police officer who escorted him, fatally shooting him as well as a second security officer. Subsequently, the authorities announced the Tajik citizen was wanted at home for the abduction of a bank manager. Rustam Ashurov was gravely wounded in the shooting and died in hospital a few days later.
Maria Zakharova’s statement regarding CIS refers to Moldova’s gradual distancing from Moscow, particularly after the large-scale invasion of Ukraine. In June 2022, the Republic of Moldova obtained the EU candidate status. At the time, several Moldovan officials spoke of the gradual withdrawal from the CIS, an organization with decreasing economic relevance.
In May, the European Parliament denounced the agreement on Moldova’s participation in the activity of the “MIR” radio and TV company in the CIS, and has currently launched procedures to also denounce the Agreement on the participation of the Republic of Moldova in the CIS Parliamentary Assembly. The authorities have also denounced other less-known agreements.
Meanwhile, Russian propaganda and Moscow officials have been talking about the benefits of CIS membership to the Republic of Moldova and have accused the West of forcing this country to leave the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth of Independent States was set up in 1991 after the demise of the USSR, and has always been perceived as an organization whereby Moscow has been trying to preserve its influence in ex-Soviet states. Baltic States have not acceded to the organization, while Georgia left CIS after the 2008 Russian invasion. Ukraine itself is no longer a de facto member of the CIS, although it has not completed official procedures to withdraw from the organization.
PURPOSE: To amplify the risks and negative consequences of the Republic of Moldova’s break with the CIS and the East as a whole.
Fact: The notification about the suspect had not been issued, and at any rate Chișinău had barred him from entering Moldova
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: In fact, the main risks and threats to the security and safety of the Republic of Moldova, particularly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, come from the Russian Federation itself, the “first fiddle” of the CIS. In the first days of the war, both Moldovan officials as well as international experts and politicians said Moldova is the country that is most exposed to a possible invasion and could be next in line after Ukraine. The president of the Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, was seen near a map that marked the Republic of Moldova as the possible target of an attack (from Transnistria).
Although the threat of a military invasion has gone down compared to the first months of the war, due to the resistance mounted by the Ukrainian army, the Republic of Moldova is the target of a hybrid Russian war.
In early February, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said in Brussels that his country’s secret services had obtained information about a possible Russian attack on Moldova. Shortly afterwards, the Information and Security Service in Chișinău confirmed they are aware of such a plan. Later, the White House said information about Russia’s plans to destabilize the political context in the Republic of Moldova is “deeply disturbing”. Recently, Washington has accused Russia of trying to destabilize the Republic of Moldova. On March 14, the European Parliament too debated the situation in the Republic of Moldova as well as the challenges Chișinău authorities need to deal with in the current context.
All that shows that CIS, an organization under Moscow’s de facto control, does not represent a source of security for the Republic of Moldova, quite the contrary.
Moreover, Chișinău authorities have also denied the main argument invoked by Moscow, namely that maintaining close relations with the CIS would have prevented the loss of human lives, because the Republic of Moldova would have been notified in due time about the attack. The Moldovan Interior Ministry states that the CIS Office for the Coordination of the Fight against Organized Crime and Other Dangerous Types of Crime, coordinated by the Russian Federation, had no record of the Tajik attacker who killed two people on the airport in Chișinău, “since the authorities in this country had ordered an international search for this individual after the tragic incident on the Moldovan airport, which killed two people”.
Finally, the Tajik national had been denied access to the Moldovan territory and, according to standard procedure in such cases, had been placed under escort while being taken to the transit / departure terminal. Therefore, due measures had been taken even in the absence of a notification.
GRAIN OF TRUTH: The Republic of Moldova has started denouncing CIS agreements it deems unimportant.
OFFICIAL REACTIONS: “The Moldovan Interior Ministry dismissed the information according to which the Office in question had data about the Tajik citizen. “Interpol, Europol and the CIS inter-state search mechanism had no record of Rustam Asurov's whereabouts, as the authorities from Tajikistan were only in the process of drafting an international search warrant for him on June 30. Therefore, the statement made by the Russian official is false, as the CIS authorities had no data or active search file on Rustam Ashurov. The Republic of Moldova has recalled the liaison officer of the Office for the Coordination of the Fight against Organized Crime and Other Dangerous Types of Crime in the CIS from Moscow, as the staffing policy required specialists in combating cross-border organized crime to be present in Chișinău, due to the risks of war in neighboring Ukraine. The officer was retired in January 2023”, a Moldovan Interior Ministry release reads.