Moldovan Opposition Forms Bloc in Moscow, Challenges Pro-EU Agenda

Opposition parties critical of President Maia Sandu's pro-European stance have joined forces in Moscow, forming a pre-election bloc with ambitions to contest upcoming presidential elections and a pivotal referendum on EU membership.

Dubbed the "Victory" alliance, the bloc coalesces around the controversial figure of Ilan Shor, a prominent pro-Russian tycoon convicted in absentia for massive fraud. Anchored by leaders from pro-Russian Gagauzia, the alliance seeks to chart a new course for Moldova, casting doubt on the viability of the country's EU aspirations.

At a gathering in a Moscow hotel, Ilan Shor denounced the EU integration agenda as a destructive phantom, advocating instead for closer ties with Russia and regional organizations under Moscow's influence. Evghenia Guțul, governor of Gagauzia, echoed Shor's sentiments, emphasizing the bloc's mission to safeguard Moldova's independence and forge amicable relations with Russia.

The formation of the bloc in Moscow has drawn swift condemnation from Maia Sandu's government, with Infrastructure Minister Andrei Spinu accusing the opposition of aligning themselves with the Kremlin. Spinu's remarks underscore the contentious nature of Moldova's political landscape, marked by divergent visions for the country's future trajectory.

"The whole country saw these traitors to the nation in Moscow," Spinu wrote on Facebook.

For President Sandu, Russia's influence and entrenched corruption represent formidable challenges to Moldova's aspirations for European integration. With plans to hold a referendum on EU accession concurrent with the presidential election in October, Sandu aims to navigate Moldova towards a European future, despite mounting opposition from pro-Russian factions.

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