Press in Sofia alerted that Bulgarians in Moldova are being manipulated

Russia is trying to manipulate the Bulgarians in Moldova through hybrid activities in connection with the presidential election and the referendum on membership of the European Union set for this autumn, “Club Z” of Sofia quoted James Rubin, the special envoy and coordinator of the Global Engagement Center of the U.S. Department of State, as saying.

During a telephone briefing in Brussels, “Club Z” asked the former American diplomat and journalist if he believes that Russia influences ethnic minorities in Moldova, including the Bulgarian one, in the context of the October 20 presidential election and the EU membership referendum.

“While President Maia Sandu makes considerable efforts to guarantee the rights of all the people in Moldova, the Russians seek to use the differences between ethnic groups to divide. This is one of the standard Russian scenarios. We know that the Russians are trying to disinform in order to inflate the problems of particular ethnic groups, which is not fair. Or they express contempt for particular groups, which is also not fair,” said Rubin.

At the same time, the U.S. believes that the people in Moldova are wise enough not to take these things seriously, Rubin said. The Americans know that the current government in Chisinau pursues a policy that aims not at division, but at uniting the people so as to find their future in the EU.

In this connection, the publication invokes the joint statement of the governments of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom about Russia’s subversive activity and electoral interference targeting Moldova, to which IPN made reference.

At the same time, the source reminds that according to a survey conducted last year, the Bulgarian minority in the Republic of Moldova showed that it weakly supports the idea of joining the EU. “It was very surprising, even for us,” “Club Z” quoted the former Deputy Speaker of Parliament, currently Minister of Foreign Affairs Mihai Popșoi as saying. According to him, the situation is due to both the 30-year neglect of the Bulgarian minority and the strong Russian propaganda.

Moldova makes efforts to convince its citizens that there are other options to ensure the country’s security besides neutrality and that NATO membership is one of them, Popșoi replied to another question from “Club Z”.

“My short answer is that we don’t have enough votes to amend the Constitution and therefore the neutrality status. But what we can do, and we are already doing, is to stage a public debate, seeking to assess our current status and the extent to which it guarantees the security of the Republic of Moldova,” said Mihai Popșoi.

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