The EU civilian mission in Chisinau aims to push the Republic of Moldova towards a confrontation with Moscow, says the Russian MFA. In fact, the aim is to strengthen Moldova's resilience to security threats.
NEWS: The EU is trying to push the Republic of Moldova into a confrontation with Moscow, and the anti-Russian message of its civilian mission in this country is not even hidden, Deputy Foreign Minister Mihail Galuzin said in an interview for Ria Novosti.
[...]We see that when adopting the decision regarding the creation of the new ground structure, in the post-Soviet space, the EU was guided by geopolitical reasons. The EU is trying to strengthen the pro-Western course of the Moldovan leadership and put the country in front of a confrontation with Russia, ignoring the interests and predispositions of the population. The anti-Russian message of the new EU presence is not even hidden," the diplomat said.
According to Galuzin, under the slogan of the fight against “hybrid threats, foreign informational influence”, in the country "censorship will be imposed, Western values will be imposed, everything Russian will be eliminated”.
NARRATIVE: The EU is trying to push Moldova into a confrontation with Russia
LOCAL CONTEXT/ETHOS: The Republic of Moldova is considered the most vulnerable country and a first target if the Russian military invasion of Ukraine turns successful. Neutral through the Constitution adopted in 1994 by a center-left Parliament, in the context of open (Transnistria) or latent (Gagauzia) secessions, the Republic of Moldova has oscillated, in the more than 30 years of independence, between East and West. The country is dependent on Russian energy resources (Gazprom gas and electricity from Transnistria, a separatist region supported economically, politically and militarily by Moscow). At the same time, there is a Russian-speaking minority of about 20%, and a significant part of the population connected to Russian culture/media/showbiz, including through the hundreds of thousands of Moldovans who left to work in Russia, so public opinion is still divided with regard to the vector of foreign policy. However, the majority of the population opts for European integration, as shown by polls and the results of the latest elections, which brought pro-European politicians and parties to power.
Along with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the propaganda messages promoted by the Russian media and officials have intensified, amplified by the pro-Russia media and politicians in Chisinau. One of the narratives is the one according to which the Republic of Moldova would be governed, de facto, by the West, which is pushing it towards war with Russia, despite its status of neutrality.
PURPOSE: To feed people’s fear of war and to associate the European Union with the threat of a confrontation between the Republic of Moldova and Russia.
WHY THE NARRATIVES ARE FALSE: On April 24, the EU Council set up an EU partnership mission in the Republic of Moldova , (EUPM Moldova), within the framework of the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP). The objective of this civilian mission is to strengthen Moldova's crisis management structures and to enhance its resilience to hybrid threats, including cybersecurity, and countering foreign information manipulation and interference . EUPM Moldova was launched on May 22nd.
The mission is a civilian one, providing consultancy and support for Moldova to face the challenges brought about by the hybrid war waged by Russia and it has neither technical nor logistical skills to prepare the Republic of Moldova for confrontations with Russia.
No part of the goal of this mission suggests that it would have an anti-Russian character, as the MFA official in Moscow claims.
All opinion polls show that the majority of the population of the Republic of Moldova opts for joining the EU, so the intention of the Chisinau authorities to take the Republic of Moldova on this path does not contradict the expectations of the population, as Mihail Galuzin stated.
The introduction of censorship in the Republic of Moldova is another narrative promoted by the Russian propaganda and pro-Russian politicians from Chisinau, who thus comment on the efforts of the Chisinau authorities to fight the fake news phenomenon. Two years in a row, the Republic of Moldova has climbed up more than 60 positions in the chapter on press freedom, in a top compiled by the international organization "Reporters without Borders". This year, the Republic of Moldova is in 28th place, having the best press freedom index in Southeast Europe and similar to that of states with a democratic tradition such as Austria and Australia.
GRAIN OF TRUTH: The EU has launched a civil mission with the aim of enhancing the resilience of the Republic of Moldova’s security sector.