The EPC summit in Bulboaca was meant to create an anti-Russian coalition, Russian propaganda writes, describing standard security measures as signs of a dictatorship.
NEWS: “All residents of Bulboaca were placed on house arrest for two days, while people in the nearby village, Chestrosu, were persecuted along with their livestock. A general curfew was enforced.
[…] Sending state leaders to Kyiv, where many have already been, was considered a dangerous move. Moldova, instead, has long been ready for any anti-Russian action, and was thus thought the perfect place [to host the summit]. Sandu immediately put aside her country’s European aspirations.
[…] Moldovan MP Bogdan Țîrdea believes the “Purpose and philosophy of the EPC summit in Bulboaca was to create an extended anti-Russian alliance.
Similar concerns were also expressed at FSB level. It is believed the West will determine Moldova to get involved in the Ukrainian conflict. The spokesman of the Russian Presidency promised the Kremlin will carefully monitor Moldovan news agencies and the dominant rhetoric they promote.
[…] Today, Chișinău looked like a Hollywood ghost-city. The city center was closed down and no public transportation was allowed. All you could see on the streets were armed police officers and girls wearing white blouses, who were in fact working with the special services”.
NARRATIVES: 1. The Summit of the European Political Community had strong anti-Russian overtones, and the Republic of Moldova has been dragged in this „coalition”. 2. The Republic of Moldova is becoming a police state led by president Maia Sandu.
BACKGROUND: On June 1, the Republic of Moldova hosted the second European Political Community Summit, which brought together nearly 50 European leaders. It was the first time Chișinău hosted an international event of such scale.
“The EPC Summit is an exceptional platform that provides small and large countries, both within and outside the EU, with an equal voice during discussions. This makes it a forum of unparalleled importance”, the president of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, said. It was also a good opportunity for Moldova to promote its Europeanness and EU integration aspirations.
The European Political Community was created in 2022, at the initiative of France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The EPC set out to promote political dialogue and cooperation with respect to tacking topics of mutual interest, as well as to consolidate security, stability and prosperity on the European continent.
PURPOSE: To describe European countries, in particular members of the EU and NATO, as plotting to attack Russia and drag the Republic of Moldova in this “coalition”. To depict the government in Chișinău as a dictatorship subservient to the West.
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: The claim about the inhabitants of Bulboaca being kept on “house arrest” is an overstatement at best, and the government spokesman, Daniel Vodă, described rumors about restrictions enforced during the summit as “fake news” .
The article’s description of security measures in central Chișinău is far-fetched. Over May 31 – June 2, the authorities did introduce traffic restrictions, blocking certain areas to public transportation (these are standard measures implemented for any high-profile event, irrespective of where they are held), but in general, people were able to walk around the city freely, while public transportation remained operational, although certain routes were temporarily changed.
The European chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, said the summit was not organized against Russia, which was however not invited to take part due to Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine.
Talks on the sidelines of the EPC summit focused on three main areas: joint efforts to ensure peace and stability; energy resilience and climate action; interconnections at European level to ensure a better connected and more stable Europe.
The EPC does not supersede any existing organization, structure or process, and does not seek to create new ones at this moment. No resolution was adopted at the summit.
The involvement of the Republic of Moldova in the conflict in Ukraine against Russia is one of the most widely-circulated narratives promoted by the Russian propaganda. On the one hand, it seeks to promote the idea that Russia is actually fighting a larger coalition of states led by NATO, while on the other hand to accuse the pro-European government in Chișinău of having beliggerent tendencies. The scenario described by Russian propaganda also includes an attack of the Ukrainian army on the separatist region of Transnistria, with the consent or participation of the Republic of Moldova. Chișinău authorities have repeatedly stated that the Republic of Moldova is open to discuss only a peaceful resolution to the Transnistrian conflict.
The Republic of Moldova’s European integration was one of the main topics president Maia Sandu tackled during the bilateral meetings she had on the sidelines of the summit, which is also transparent in the speech she delivered in closing of the EPC Summit. Later, Maia Sandu announced the Republic of Moldova has obtained support, financial assistance and increased visibility on the international stage owing to the European Political Community Summit it hosted.