The United States’ decision to make former Democratic leader Vladimir Plahotniuc ineligible for visas to the U.S. is a very important message for the political elites in Chisinau, which shows that the acts of corruption, blackmail and crimes against the own people will not remain unpunished. From legal viewpoint, the decision also conveys a message to the law enforcement agencies of Moldova, namely that they should act swifter.
MP of the PAS group of the ACUM bloc Mihai Popșoi said this decision is an important moment if Plahotniuc had sought political asylum in the U.S. “It’s good that the U.S. took such a decision as Plahotniuc stopped being welcome in the United States and his acts of corruption in the Republic of Moldova can no longer be neglected,” the politician was quoted by IPN as saying in the program “Expertise hour” on Jurnal TV channel.
Journalist Ion Terguță said the U.S. authorities’ decision makes Vladimir Plahotniuc undesirable for a number of states. Those who share the same views as the U.S. will think twice if they are asked to issue visas or to authorize the stay for Plahotniuc and his family. “I don’t know how many counties will try, at least in Europe, to ignore this message that is not yet an official ban. The Europeans are particularly attentive to what is going on over the ocean,” he noted, adding he is curious to see how the Czech Republic, whose nationality Vladimir Plahotniuc holds, will act.
Political commentator Roman Mihăeș said two aspects should be analyzed here – the political one and the legal one. From political viewpoint, Vladimir Plahotniuc was given not only an image blow as the former Democratic leader hoped that in the U.S. he would be considered the victim of settling of accounts in Moldova and the criminal cases started against him would be considered as fabricated. “Michael Pompeo, by this statement, annihilated his positions in the U.S.,” he stated, noting that if Plahotniuc had applied for asylum there, his chances can be rated as zero.
Former judge of the European Court of Human Rights Stanislav Pavlovski said that from political viewpoint, Michael Pompeo’s statement is addressed to politicians in Moldova, while from legal viewpoint to the law enforcement agencies. “As regards the political aspect, this statement shows that the politicians in Moldova should be more insistent in promoting the democratic values and in restoring the democratic institutions in the Republic of Moldova. The second message, addressed to the law enforcement agencies, is that these should work swifter than now. From both angles, this decision cannot be neglected,” he noted.
On January 13, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced by a statement that former Moldovan official Vladimir Plahotniuc was designated publicly due to involvement in significant corruption and is ineligible for visas to the United States.