The sanctions imposed by the United States against the oligarchs Vladimir Plahotniuc and Ilan Shor will have full effect when the Moldovan authorities are able to properly investigate the crimes they are accused of, says the political pundit Igor Boțan.
“Some see these sanctions as being rather political and not very well evidence-based, but this is not true. There are documents and facts that must be brought out and shown to the public”, Boțan told an IPN debate on this subject.
The expert noted that there are reports of the Central Electoral Commission compiled during the election campaign that showed which Russian artists participated in campaign-sponsored concerts and what their estimated prices were, but no such expenses were reported in any way. “Putting all these facts together, we realize that there were very serious grounds for those who are accused of stealing the billion in Moldova and those who are beneficiaries of Russia’s involvement in the elections to understand that they are being watched by the United States authorities. This is also a message for other states where those persons may have interests or where they may make transactions”, said the expert.
Igor Boțan recalled that Vladimir Plahotniuc fled the country to hide from the Moldovan justice system, which suggests that he had real reasons to do so. Ilan Shor disappeared together with Vladimir Plahotniuc and there is a criminal case against the two for the bank fraud. One is considered by prosecutors as the main beneficiary, the second is considered subordinate to the former. And both were actively involved in the elections. “We have a specific regional situation where there is a very strict polarization and we see that the protests in the Republic of Moldova are openly directed by Shor who admits that he finances these projects. Similar actions are taking place in a number of European states and the protests that are being organized there are being carried out by people who were previously funded by money that came from the Russian Federation. All these things serve as a reason to take preventive measures regarding these people, so that they cannot use the financial resources that are known about”, said Igor Boțan.
The debate was the 265th installment of the “Political Culture” Series, run by IPN with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.