Former SIS deputy director: Russia is present in almost all areas of activity in Moldova

In the context of military aggression against Ukraine, Russian intelligence services are increasing their efforts to destabilize Moldova in order to create tension in the region and undermine the country’s pro-European course. The Ukrainian news agency Guildhall discussed with the former head of the Security and Intelligence Service of the Republic of Moldova, the ex-head of the counterintelligence of Moldova, General Alexandru Balan, IPN reports.

Referring to the likelihood of a Russian revenge in Moldova, the use of Transnistria, of the special services and the application of force as part of the operations of the Russian special services in Moldova, Alexandru Balan said that Russia is interested in Moldova not only to influence the movement of the state in one direction or the other, but also to strengthen its position regarding the issue of the war that is taking place in Ukraine. In this vein, as the general considers, the involved forces and means of the Russian Federation have increased and this places even more responsibility on the special services of the Republic of Moldova, to deal more intensively, more actively with these processes - to establish, identify and it is premature to stop any illegal actions on the part of the Russian special services, both in Moldova and in terms of the use of Moldovan territory against Ukraine, against Ukrainian security.

“In the Transnistria region, it is absolutely important to develop friendly and serious partnerships between our intelligence services, both at the level of Moldova and Ukraine, and with the intelligence services of Romania, the European Union and the United States of America. This is a problem, unfortunately, and it needs to be taken very seriously and controlled.

“Russia is present in almost all areas of activity in Moldova, from political parties to various non-governmental organizations. We have a lot of economic agents with joint capital with the Russian Federation, we are connected by many different so-called cultural events in which they are present.”

According to the general, from 2014 until approximately 2016, they were able to reduce the presence of the Russian military contingent in Transnistria by 30-40%. Together with the Ukrainian special services, many were expelled “right at the border, and most of them, naturally, I can say this, we recruited and are still using in our and your interests.”

Commenting on the scandal with Topaz enterprise specialized in the production of radio components for military purposes, which in 2021 sold equipment worth more than $16 million in Russia, Alexandru Balan underlined the necessity of reforming the SIS. “The service must be reformed without fail, not only at the level of management, the chairman, the director of the service and everything have changed. The service is being reformed, we are integrating into the European Union, we need to pay attention to the core, directly to the performers, colleagues, officers who work in the intelligence service. Because the ISS is, in principle, the main censor of all crisis situations in the country; it should not work like a fire service, but like a special service and provide information prematurely,” he stated.

“This case with the Topaz enterprise once again proves that somewhere the intelligence service did not do its job and, analyzing the situation, I was surprised to realize that the Department of Economic Security in the Security and Intelligence Service is still headed by a former graduate of the FSB Academy, who presents himself as an ardent and active supporter of the European integration. But there are also nuances. All European countries have gone through lustration, it can be legalized, or it can be carried out secretly. But at least in the central apparatus, in the territorial departments of the service there must be a purge”.

The former SIS deputy director said that an internet service provider of Chisinau provides services across the Nistru, while the former deputy head of the Security and Intelligence Service, Valentin Dediu, is still working as a security adviser. He considers himself close to the current President, Maia Sandu, and very close to the current SIS deputy director for operational work, Sergiu Drută. Both Dediu and Drută previously worked as representatives of the service at the Embassy of the Republic of Moldova in Kiev, and for him it is very strange that these officers, knowing absolutely well the situation in Ukraine, especially with the war in Ukraine, are carrying out such an operation.

He noted that the only task is to reform the intelligence services and to clear structures of unfriendly, so-called officers, and this is a request to the current President, Parliament Speaker and Prime Minister. “You must have a clear understanding of what is happening in state law enforcement agencies, not only from your subordinates, that is, I mean chairmen and deputies, you must have a clear understanding obtained from inside these structures, so that you understand who is protecting you and how should you implement the tasks that you set for yourself to implement integration processes into the European Union”.

Alexandru Balan also referred to the Moldova sanatorium in Odessa. “I see this issue as one of the pleasant, good elements for joint implementation - to open this sanatorium with common investments, both from Ukraine and from Moldova. Make sure that this becomes a place for visits from our countries, so that citizens of Ukraine and Moldova can restore their health. This issue has been going on for decades, unfortunately, again, due to political instability, due to various, as already mentioned, destructive elements that are present both in your country and in our country, such bad situations are being created. That is, this would be one of the elements that would again open up the map of visits of our politicians,” concluded the general.

Alexandru Balan was appointed SIS deputy director on March 17, 2016 by the then President Nicolae Timofti, at the proposal of the institution’s director at that time.

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